BOSTON (CBS) – Mayor Tom Menino ripped striking school bus drivers Tuesday morning, hours after they walked off the job unexpectedly, throwing the system and parents into chaos.

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“Today’s actions are the result of a group of angry people who don’t like to follow the rules,” Menino told reporters at a morning news conference.

Hundreds of drivers joined the wildcat strike to protest working conditions, just before the buses were to start rolling Tuesday.

When the buses didn’t leave, thousands of children were left stranded at their stops . In many cases, police took the kids to school.

One mother told WBZ-TV she received an automated call from the city at 6:15 a.m. saying that “some” buses wouldn’t run. Her son leaves home to catch his bus at 6:20 a.m.

That lack of warning infuriated parents.

”This is totally unnecessary,” Menino said, calling the wildcat strike “illegal.”

“We’ve had some rumblings about this, but we had people at these different depots where the buses have been. We had staff there, but (the drivers) never let on when it would happen.”

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“They agreed to a good contract, a very good contract. Now they don’t want to live up to that contract, that’s the issue,” Menino said, calling the strike “illegal.”

Read: Boston School Bus Drivers’ Contract (.pdf)

“I will not allow them to jeopardize (the students’) education or safety.”

WBZ-TV obtained a copy of the contract, which on the last page states in part, “The Union agrees that there will be no strikes, stoppages of work, or slowdowns during the life of this Agreement. The Union agrees that in the event of any violation of the previous sentence, the Union will immediately order that such violation cease and that work be fully resumed…”

Menino said he will meet with his legal team to determine what action the city will take to make sure all school buses are rolling Wednesday.

A copy of the Boston Bus Drivers' contract.

A copy of the final page of the Boston Bus Drivers’ contract.


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