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Driver sick-out idles dozens of Detroit busses


Bus service has been disrupted in Detroit today, with dozens of drivers calling in sick to attend a labor rallyin Lansing.

Lovevett Williams is with the city of Detroit’s Department of Transportation. She said the sick-out cut bus service by about 20 percent.

"This is similar to when we had the real bad snow and a lot of people called off, and the weather was so bad we had delays."

Williams said 55 of the city's 252 busses were idled because of the sick-out. But some bus riders, like Richard Mapes, didn’t seem to mind the extra wait:

"I’m with em. They gotta do what they gotta do. We don’t need this state to be a right-to-work state. This is a union state."

Officials with Detroit’s Department of Transportation said routes were re-worked so that no one was left without service, but delays averaged about 30 minutes.

The bus drivers joined teachers and other union workers in Lansing to protest against Republican budget proposals. Today is a National Day of Protest organized by the AFL-CIOand AFSCME.

Sarah Hulett is Michigan Public's Director of Amplify & Longform, helping reporters to do their best work.