So many people in the Phoenix area rely on the bus service to get to and from work, school, or to simply run errands. Transdev offers 34 different bus routes for passengers, however passengers were left wondering whether they would be able to travel these routes after the possibility of a strike was in the works. A local union came out early in the month claiming that bus drivers in the Phoenix area were going on strike starting at midnight on a Monday night. Negotiations during the day on Monday allowed the strike to be put on hold by late Monday night.
Union explains the strike
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433 is the union that was threatening to strike because they could not reach a deal with Transdev. The Union threatened to strike because Transdev was using unfair labor practices. In addition, there were also changes to the employee payment system, and a voucher system in place of a uniform allowance. After negotiations during the day on Monday Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1422 put the strike on hold, but remains ready to strike if negotiations fail.
Riders nervous about possible strike
Although many bus riders were relieved when they heard the news that negotiations were going well, they are still worried a strike remains a possibility. Rainy weather was expected across the area, and this would put a damper on many riders who rely on the bus for transportation. One commuter, June Baddorf, said that she saves about $200 every month riding the bus. A strike would mean she would have to drive her own vehicle everyday, which adds to frustration because of traffic. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton is disappointed and has insisted that both sides continue negotiations. Without a deal, both Transdev and Amalgamated Transit Union are letting down thousands of residents who rely on public transportation. It is not like the company only has a couple of routes, as the 34 routes provide transportation to different locations across the region.
Strike mediator at work
Before the strike was even discussed, former Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice, Ruth McGregor, was hired to act as mediator in the dispute. Bargaining agreements expired in June, and so there was a possibility of an impending strike. They wanted someone who could peacefully mediate negotiations, which is why McGregor was called in. She clearly did a great job as the strike was placed on hold, and bus service would operate as normal on Tuesday. As negotiations continue in the days to come, both sides hope to avoid future conflicts which might arise.
Still no agreement
Unfortunately, after all the positives that occurred in the first few days during talks of a strike, negotiations have slowed, and the Union has began a strike. This strike has affected the 34 Transdev routes, as thirteen routes were operating with limited schedules as of Wednesday 01/13. The union’s next step is to present Transdev a proposal to end a tiered system for wages and benefits, which has been one of their major issues. Hopefully these two groups can come up with an agreement soon because Phoenix area residents are happy!