Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) buses have returned to service following a nearly six-day strike. Teamsters Local 848 launched a strike against the AVTA’s contractor Transdev Services Inc.
Transdev notified AVTA’s executive management late Monday evening that Teamsters Local 848 had agreed to return to work, the transit agency announced Tuesday.
According to executive management at Transdev, Teamsters Local 848 made an unconditional offer to return to work on behalf of striking workers, the AVTA announced. Transdev accepted the Teamsters’ unconditional offer for operators to return to work.
The union membership was sympathetic to the needs of their community and sent an unconditional return to work offer and offered to return to work immediately, Joe Pimentel, the business representative for Teamsters Local 848, wrote in an email.
“Our members were prepared to serve the community immediately,” Pimentel wrote. “They made their offer at 9 a.m., (Monday). The fact that Transdev chose to continue to deprive Valley residents of much needed transportation services further proves that the bad players here are contractors like Transdev. They are outsiders to our community and have no concern for their employees who are residents of the Valley and the ridership.”
The union called for a strike at 9 a.m., June 3, after hundreds of commuters had been transported to Los Angeles, Century City and San Fernando Valley. Local riders were also left stranded.
The union has been working without a contract since Jan 1. Union members received a salary increase between 30 percent to 38 percent effective Jan. 1. The pay increases raised the starting pay for bus operators from $15.50 an hour to $18 an hour. The top pay level after five years of service increased from $24 an hour to $26 an hour.
“The increases were designed to be in place while we continued negotiating,” Pimentel said previously.
The AVTA will switch to a new contractor, MV Transportation Inc., with a projected start date of July 1, after 16 years with Transdev. Negotiations between the union and Transdev broke down after Transdev announced that it would not seek a new contract with the AVTA.