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Bus Driver Says He Was Fired Over Adjusting Rear-View Mirror

PASADENA (CBSLA) — All Margarito Ayala wanted to do was adjust his rear-view mirror. Now he's out of a job.

For five years, Ayala, 32, drove a city bus for First Transit, the company that handles the public transportation for Pasadena.

He said he was fired because he would adjust the outside mirrors on the bus before he would drive.

"Mirrors are everything when you're driving," Ayala told KCAL9/CBS2's Dave Lopez. "Those are your eyes when you can't see what's to the side of you and what's behind you."

For more than three years, he said, he would adjust the mirrors -- just like the other drivers would -- on his own before taking off.

Then suddenly he was told to stop. Only a mechanic can touch the mirrors.

"I called up maintenance. Had maintenance come out and adjust it for me," said Ayala.

But there was a problem with that, he said. Ayala showed the letters from the company.

By calling maintenance, that delayed the route and the company in the letter said he was creating a "work stoppage."

They warned him once and after the second time he called up maintenance to adjust his mirrors, he was fired, which he finds hypocritical because he said the motto of the company is: "Our Philosophy: If you cannot do it safely, don't do it!"

The company's headquarters in Pasadena refused to comment. A spokesman from First Transit's corporate headquarters in Cincinnati confirmed that Ayala had been fired but would not give further details.

Ayala is represented by the Teamsters Union. They said they are going to bat for him. They have a scheduled hearing next week to do everything they can to get his job back.

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