An ongoing union work stoppage has resulted in service reductions for the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) and plans to close the agency’s lobby.
The moves come as Teamsters Local 848 — representing some 150 drivers, road supervisors and dispatchers in Lancaster — walked off the job on June 3, alleging unfair labor practices by Transdev, the AVTA’s service contractor.
“AVTA’s local and commuter services were suspended today at 9 a.m. due to a sudden strike action taken by Teamsters Local 848 against AVTA’s contractor Transdev. AVTA had no advance notice of this work stoppage,” according to a June 3 statement posted by the transit agency on its website. “AVTA is deeply disappointed that the Teamsters Local 848 decided to strike and, in the process, disrupt the lives of thousands of AVTA customers that rely on our transit services to get to work, medical appointments and other daily needs… AVTA will do everything we can to minimize the impact of this work stoppage.”
The agency statement stressed that the dispute is between the union and the contractor and does not involve AVTA.
“Although this impacts our riders and our community in a major way, the Teamsters’ dispute is with Transdev,” according to the agency. “… AVTA has no legal role in these negotiations.”
The union said that during contract negotiations, which have been stalled for several months, Transdev “abruptly announced that they were leaving the Antelope Valley Transit Authority and would not be submitting a bid to renew their service agreement with AVTA.”
In addition, the union statement said, “Transdev refused to bargain the effects of their closure with Teamsters Local 848 as required by law.”
According to the union, Transdev also threatened to reverse wage increases that had been approved by the AVTA Board of Directors and threatened to lock out Transdev employees represented by Local 848 if a work stoppage occurred. The union said its workers voted to authorize an Unfair Labor Practices strike and had notified the contractor.
“Instead, Transdev doubled down and directly informed the membership of their threats” — which led to the June 3 walkout, the union said.
AVTA said riders could stay updated by checking its website at https://www.avta.com/. The AVTA’s customer service phone number (661) 945-9445.