Bus Strike Authorized But Put on Hold; Union Leaders, Veolia Executives Expected to Resume Talks

Veolia executives agreed to go back to the bargaining table with union leaders representing Phoenix bus drivers.

That means that a possible strike, which has received the blessing of union's international leadership, is going to be put on hold.

Michael Cornelius, vice president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433, tells New Times their talks will pick up after Labor Day, per Veolia's request.

Veolia Transportation landed a $383 million contract with Phoenix in last year. While that contract called for a $25,000 per day fine per bus garage (Veolia operates two) for each day that workers are on strike.

Those fines have all been waived, but Veolia could still face fines if they don't maintain certain levels of services for bus passengers.

A strike would be costly, as well, for drivers. If they went on strike, they wouldn't collect a paycheck from Veolia or their union.

Though costly, 96 percent of the drivers who voted down Veolia's proposed contract on Tuesday, are obviously willing to make that sacrifice.

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Monica Alonzo
Contact: Monica Alonzo