Who will AVTA blame now?
Bus Drivers make unconditional offer to return to work; Transdev/AVTA locks drivers out until Friday morning impacting student’s ability to get to school.
Lancaster, CA – More than 120 drivers working for AVTA, and their joint employer Transdev, went on strike on August 21 because Transdev continues to break labor laws, known as unfair labor practices (ULP). This particular ULP strike occurred because Transdev and AVTA locked the drivers out of work for two days after the Union sent an unconditional offer to return to work on behalf of all drivers. The strike has ended again – for now, yet Transdev/AVTA has again chosen to lock out the drivers for two days leaving the door open for another ULP strike.
The drivers understand that labor disruptions are an inconvenience to the passengers. However, it is Transdev/AVTA that has chosen to break labor laws and it is their job, when impasse is reached and negotiations break down, to put together a plan to make sure they can cover the routes in the event there is a strike. It is AVTA’s job to assure that their passengers are not stranded. “If AVTA is so concerned with students’ ability to get to and from school then why have they locked out the drivers for two days and told them to wait to return to work until Friday?” asked Eric Tate, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Local 848.
“AVTA continues to whine that they have not received advance notice of the drivers’ next strike. I know they have very little experience with strikes so here is some free advice for them: You don’t get advance notice of a strike. Perhaps Transdev simply doesn’t want to cut into their fat profit margins to make sure their passengers make it to and from their destinations?” asked Eric Tate, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Local 848.
All the Transdev/AVTA drivers want is to be compensated fairly, at an equivalent level to other bus drivers in the region. More than 6 months ago, the Union made an offer to Transdev to accept their economic proposal for the first four years if they would agree to the Union’s proposal, which would allow drivers to reach par with other drivers in the region by the end of the six-year contract. Not only has Transdev/AVTA refused this reasonable request, but the employers have continued to break labor laws in the process, leaving the drivers no choice but to strike – that’s their power, that’s their remedy.
Finally, we must correct the record as AVTA continues to tell only part of the story. AVTA says the members turned down a contract that reached a top rate of $25.45.
- AVTA has failed to disclose that the Union’s wage offer, which would lift wages to equal that of other drivers in the region, to $26.00 – an increase of just 55 cents.
- AVTA has failed to disclose that the top rate isn’t reached until the sixth year of the contract.
- AVTA has failed to disclose that Santa Clarita and LADOT drivers have their medical insurance paid by the Company, while Transdev/AVTA requires drivers to pay as much as $300 per month.
- AVTA has failed to disclose that Santa Clarita and LADOT drivers earn employer pension contributions of up to $3 per hour while Transdev/AVTA is proposing just 70 cents per hour by the 6th year of the contract (up from the current 25 cents per hour).
Teamsters Local 848
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, August 22, 2017; 4:20 PM
PRESS CONTACT: Barbara Maynard, 323-351-9321 firstname.lastname@example.org