Phoenix Bus Union Calls for a Strike Starting at Midnight

Categories: Shop Talk

busstrike.jpg
valleymetro.org

The Amalgamated Transit Union just called for a bus strike -- a call that comes after nearly two years of Phoenix bus drivers transporting about 71,289 passengers daily without a contract.

Veolia Transportation, the French-based company that nabbed a $388 million contract to operate city buses, has not reached any contract agreement with union leaders representing about 640 Phoenix bus drivers.

According to the transit company's city contract, it must provide at least 60 percent of schedule service in the event of a strike.

For information on available bus services, visit www.valleymetro.org or the Phoenix Public Transit Department's website.

Val Michael, the director of corporate communications for Veolia, tells New Times: "We'll be prepared."

Michael Cornelius, vice president of ATU Local 1433, says that their goal is to resolve things as quickly as possible.

"We can't allow our members to be victimized," he said. "We're going up on two years without a contract. We've honored our commitment to the community that we would only strike as a last resort."

He says they are out of options.

Part of the problem is that corporate representatives for the transit company have been engaging in unfair labor practices, union reps say.

And the National Labor Relations Board, a federal body that oversees labor negotiations, has substantiated the union's complaints.

For example, at one point, while Veolia was steeped in negotiations with union reps, corporate officials were undercutting those talks and negotiating directly with individual employees, offering some of them buy-out packages to lower their overall contract costs.

Federal laws prohibit those types of tactics.

Phoenix officials tried unsuccessfully to intervene by bringing in Honorable Ruth V. McGregor, former Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, to serve as a third-party mediator.

It's safe to say that -- with warning announcements being piped in on city buses -- mediation efforts were unfruitful.

"Our members have continued to show up to work every day because they know the people of Phoenix and Tempe need to get to work too," said Bob Bean, president of ATU Local 1433 in a statement issued late Friday. "We've been trying to negotiate with Veolia for a long time in both cities - long after expiration."

Bean said that he hopes that legal action being taken by the feds against Veolia will "end Veolia's [unfair] conduct."

Veolia executives on March 6 asked for those legal proceeding to be delayed. Their request was denied, in part, because of "the number and severity of the alleged unfair labor practices in this case, as well as the fact that [Veolia] has failed to comply with a prior Board Settlement Agreement, makes plain that a postponement of the trial in this case is not warranted," according to NLRB records.


My Voice Nation Help
14 comments
Michael
Michael

Someone needs to find out just what Veolia Transportation is really like ask the salaried employees if you can find one that is not worried about being fired what happened to their salary when Veolia took over the contract any employee that was not under contract had their salary lowered at a min of 17% and some as much as 40%.  Not too sure about that last figure but still with the economy as poor as it is who in this country can afford a 17% cut in pay.  When ATC, or Vancom had the contract (which are American Companys) the employees were treated with respect now it is all about money.  During those days the company had great benefits, Medical, Dental, Life, Short term Disability, Long term Disability, Pension plan that was great.  Now?

Kris Casey
Kris Casey

Your post reads like some halfwit union shill. Minimum 17% cut? 40% but you are not sure?
Please prove me wrong about you being a halfwit and back that up with some specifics.
I call SHENNANAGINS! GET YOUR BROOMS!

Kris Casey
Kris Casey

What makes you think you are so special? Everyone worries about being fired. Grow up, and get a helmet.
Great benifits, cry me a river! What kind of benifits do you think the folks who ride your bus have? Well?
What makes you think you deserve more of MY $11/HR FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF GETTING TO WORK?
Unions are parasites!

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 you're an idiot. You need to find a better job or shut the fuck up.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 no, you missed the point of what I Was saying. Some of the best work I have done was done for free. However calling unions parasites is wrong. The real parasites are assholes like you.

Kris Casey
Kris Casey

So the value of a man is based upon the "quality" of his job? Seriously? WTF man. That is messed up.

Dood
Dood

 your a cry baby.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 Kris, strikes are used to make the MAN pay people their worth.

Kris Casey
Kris Casey

I'm not the sissy whining about how my cushy job is so horrible because I might have to contribute to my medical costs- like everyone else.
I'm not engaged in anti-free market activites like a "strike". I am not whining that the big bad bus company wont give us a big enough raise during a depression so I will throw a tantrum and strike. WAAAAAA!
Suck it dipshit. 

Bobby
Bobby

 People that are unemployed or in prison or are homeless  never worry about being fired so your wrong in that statement.

Kris Casey
Kris Casey

as if the unemployed, the gulaged, or the lazy are people! HA!

Biff
Biff

 Less  job stress that way to.

Dood
Dood

 I know im more special than you are.

Kris Casey
Kris Casey

Here we finally see some humor! Thumbs up!

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...