January 25, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Phoenix, AZ- An eight-day strike by city bus drivers ended Jan. 16, as Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433 overwhelmingly ratified a deal with Transdev, the private contractor that runs 34 of the metropolitan area’s 49 bus routes.
The five-year contract, approved by 85% of the members voting a week after 91% had rejected Transdev’s last offer, will eventually end the two-tier system in which drivers hired after March 2012 got less vacation, and prohibits termination without “just cause.” But the union agreed to take slightly lower raises—2.75% in four of the five years, rather than the 3% previously offered—in exchange for a better deal for the second-tier workers, and the increases won’t be retroactive to July. “It's the best we can do," said ATU international vice president Bob Hykaway. The contract also says Transdev and the union will both “seek solutions to issues raised regarding unclean, inaccessible, or unsafe restroom facilities.” Read more