Sudden strike blocks Antelope Valley commuters

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LANCASTER, Calif. — An ongoing union work stoppage has resulted in service cuts for the Antelope Valley Transit Authority and plans to close the agency’s lobby on Monday.


What do you want to know

  • Teamsters Local 848, which represents some 150 drivers, truck supervisors and dispatchers in Lancaster, walked off the job on Friday, alleging unfair labor practices by Transdev, the AVTA’s service contractor.
  • The union, in a statement, said that in contract negotiations stalled for several months
  • The AVTA statement said that union operators received an average raise of 32% as of January 1, 2022, but that “despite this substantial increase from Transdev, the union is demanding more”.
  • AVTA provides local, commuter and dial-up service to residents of Lancaster and Palmdale as well as select unincorporated areas in North LA County

The measures come as Teamsters Local 848 – representing some 150 drivers, road supervisors and dispatchers in Lancaster – walked off the job on Friday, alleging unfair labor practices by Transdev, the AVTA’s service contractor.

“AVTA local and commuter services were suspended at 9am today due to a sudden strike by Teamsters Local 848 against AVTA contractor Transdev. AVTA had no prior notice of this work stoppage,” according to a statement posted Friday by the transit agency on its website.

“AVTA is deeply disappointed that Teamsters Local 848 has decided to strike and in the process disrupt the lives of thousands of AVTA customers who rely on our transit services to get to work, medical appointments and other daily needs.

“AVTA will do everything in its power to minimize the impact of this work stoppage.”

The agency’s statement emphasized that the dispute is between the union and the contractor and does not involve AVTA.

“While 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, in a statement, said that in contract negotiations stalled for several months, Transdev “abruptly announced that it was leaving the Antelope Valley Transit Authority and would not submit an offer to renew its service contract with AVTA.” .

Additionally, the union’s statement states that “Transdev has refused to negotiate 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 in the event work stoppage.

The union said its workers had voted to authorize a strike over unfair labor practices and had notified the contractor.

“Instead, Transdev doubled down and directly informed members of their threats” – leading to Friday’s strike, the union said.

“Members were outraged and stopped providing services in Antelope Valley effective (Friday) morning,” the union’s statement read.

Meanwhile, the AVTA statement said union operators received an average raise of 32% as of January 1, 2022, but that “despite this substantial increase from Transdev, the union is demanding more”.

Transdev, headquartered in Lombard, Ill., was not immediately available.

AVTA provides local, commuter, and pay-per-view service to residents of Lancaster and Palmdale as well as select unincorporated areas in North Los Angeles County.

In a statement on the transit agency’s website, AVTA Chairman Marvin Crist said, “AVTA’s position remains strong. We urge the Teamsters to return to the bargaining table and immediately cease actions that harm the most vulnerable. Work stoppages do nothing to advance their cause.

The AVTA said runners can stay up to date by checking its website or social media sites such as Twitter.

Riders can also sign up to receive alerts at www.avta.com. AVTA customer service phone number 661-945-9445.

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