LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – “Super Bowl is coming up. Be a rough time to have no buses running in the city,” RTC bus driver Dennis Hennessey told FOX5 Wednesday night. Calls for change could turn into action as drivers and other members of the Amalgamated Transit Union seek better pay.
There will be a vote by union members starting Thursday at 6 a.m. It will last for 24 hours. If they vote “no” to the current offer, which union members who spoke to FOX5 say they plan to do, it would be an automatic “yes” vote to authorize a strike.
The RTC provides mass transit throughout Southern Nevada. In 2022, 40 million passenger trips were made on a fleet of 400 buses, but the entire system could come to a screeching halt if a strike is declared.
“I’ve been employed as a driver in this town for going on 14 years…As a driver I think the word that needs to be out is strike,” Hennessey contended. Hennessey says negotiations with the private contractor hired by RTC to run the bus system have reached the end of the road.
“We are at an impasse in our contract negotiations…it is to the point that we are taking to the membership and saying, ‘hey this is what they are offering,’” Hennessey revealed.
Transdev took over operations in July and roughly 1,000 drivers, as well as mechanics, fuelers and cleaners of buses have been working without a contract ever since.
“Pretty good inclination that better than 50 percent of the union members are going to show up to vote tomorrow. We will reject this offer and then it will become an authorization to strike vote as well,” Hennessey explained.
“The current offer we have received from Transdev…it’s pitiful,” argued driver Peter Murray.
The biggest issue: pay. No raise for mechanics. Drivers only getting a slightly pay bump starting next year.
“They are getting $15 million a month and they want to give us a 2% raise…for me at the top end its 11 cents an hour,” Hennessey stated.
Another major issue: safety.
“Citizens of Las Vegas need to know how poorly we are being treated,” Murray suggested.
“We have drivers being spit on, cursed at, punched…and the RTC is doing nothing, I repeat nothing to correct that,” Hennessey asserted.
FOX5 did get a statement from Transdev:
“Transdev is continuing to bargain in good faith with ATU Local 1637 for the operations of the RTC bus system. We value our partnership with the ATU and remain hopeful that we can come to a mutually-agreeable resolution quickly so we can continue to safely and reliably provide the transportation services our community relies upon.”
If union members vote “no” on Transdev’s current contract offer it will be an automatic vote to strike. A possible strike date has not been set.
Bus drivers tell FOX5 they want to see a transit police force formed to protect them and riders. That would not be up to RTC or Transdev. It would take
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