- Associated Press - Thursday, October 6, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - The Latest on efforts to privatize the MBTA’s cash counting operation (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

Seven union members arrested while protesting the privatization of the Boston-area transit system’s cash handling operation have been released in personal recognizance.

The members of the MBTA’s Carmen’s Union Local 589 arrested on charges of unlawful assembly early Thursday included President James O’Brien.

They pleaded not guilty at their arraignment later in the day in Charlestown Municipal Court and were also ordered to stay away from the location of their arrests.

The union was opposed to the privatization of the agency’s cash collecting and counting operations because they say it will cost jobs.

Despite their opposition, the T’s fiscal control board approved a five-year $18.7 million contract with Virginia-based Brink’s to run the so-called cash room. T officials say it outsourcing cash counting will save millions of dollars.


1 p.m.

The Boston-area transit agency’s fiscal control board has approved a contract that will privatize the agency’s cash collecting and counting operations.

The board approved the five-year $18.7 million contract with Virginia-based Brink’s on Thursday with a 4-0 vote, with one member absent.

The privatization effort was opposed by unions representing Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority workers. They say privatizing the so-called money room in the city’s Charlestown neighborhood would cost dozens of jobs.

T officials say outsourcing the operation will save millions of dollars per year.

Seven members of Carmen’s Union Local 589 were arrested Thursday while picketing outside the money room. They face arraignment in Charlestown Municipal Court on unlawful assembly charges. They’re accused of trying to prevent armored cars from entering or exiting the facility.


10:15 a.m.

Seven members of a union protesting the proposed privatization of the Boston-area transit system’s cash handling operation have been arrested.

A spokeswoman for the Carmen’s Union says the members of the Local 589 executive committee, including President James O’Brien, were arrested Thursday morning and charged with unlawful assembly.

About 100 picketers assembled outside the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s so-called money room to prevent workers and armored cars from entering.

An MBTA spokesman says the protest was creating a safety risk at the facility.

The MBTA plans to recommend to its fiscal control board on Thursday that Virginia-based Brink’s be awarded a five-year, $18.7 million contract to oversee the Charlestown facility.

An outside review found widespread security issues at the facility that collects and counts an estimated $119 million in cash annually.


This story has been corrected to show union members were not charged with disorderly conduct.

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