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Published: Monday, 7/2/2012

Columbus public bus drivers strike despite tentative deal


COLUMBUS — Hundreds of bus drivers and mechanics in Columbus have gone on strike despite reaching a tentative agreement with their public transit agency, putting travelers in a pinch a day before the city’s massive Independence Day celebration downtown.

Central Ohio Transit Authority workers began the strike as promised Monday morning, shortly after the tentative deal was reached.

It will be presented to union members Monday evening. Union and COTA representatives tell reporters that bus service could resume Tuesday if the deal is approved.

Transit authority officials say they’re glad to have reached an agreement but are disappointed that workers are striking and leaving thousands of riders without transportation as the work week begins.

The drivers and other employees say they’re simply trying to get a fair deal.

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