Teachers strike cuts business for private transportation companies serving CPS students

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The ongoing strike is cutting business for private transportation companies who take many CPS students to and from school. As the strike continues, some drivers are losing the majority of their paychecks.

Erika Jeffries, the owner of Precious Parcels Transportation, said she just trying to hold on.

"It's dynamic, a huge impact," she said.

Many of those who make their money by providing goods and services to Chicago public school students and their parents said the ongoing teachers strike is affecting them too.

"I have staff sitting at home waiting for this strike to be over," Jeffries said, "because they are not getting paycheck."

Jeffries said parents from around the city have been paying for her private children's transportation service for the past 4 years.

"It's not just the students not going to school, it's the parents who are teachers who don't have anywhere for their children to go, and we still have to service them as well and they are not getting a paycheck," Jeffries said.

The small business owner said the strike has taken away roughly 70 percent of her business. All she has left now are mostly kids who attend parochial and private schools, and those whose parents can't afford to not to go to work.

"I have five drivers [and] five routes. I have two drivers that are working reduced routes and I have had to reduce their pay," Jeffries said. "It's not a full pay because it's not a full route. I have good drivers and the parents want to see same drivers every day. This is not Uber."

Jeffries said she's sure other private children's transportation services are having the same issue, if they're even operating at all.

After a week into the strike this working mom, whose children also attend CPS, hopes the strike won't completely shut down her business.

"I can't pay the bills that need to be met. I have bills that will need to be met coming up soon," she said. "I'm going to be okay, but it's my people I'm concerned about. My children, my precious parcels that I'm concerned about. Their education."

Some who are already feeling the pinch of the CPS teachers strike said this could be just the tip of the iceberg. If the strike moves into another week, it could get much worse. They fear it could result in the loss of more jobs, with the possibly of some businesses going under.
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