All bus service in Orange County may be disrupted beginning next Monday after maintenance and service workers voted to strike earlier this month.
The strike is expected to begin starting Monday at 12:01 a.m. according to
Teamsters Local 952, the union representing the employees.
The union represents 150 mechanics and service workers employed by the Orange County Transportation Authority along with around 9,000 truck drivers, office, food and
OCTA officials are warning the public of potential service disruptions while advising plans for alternate modes of travel.
Along with better health care packages, the union is also asking for higher wages and pensions for workers.
“OCTA must address the serious wage and healthcare cost discrepancies currently offered, the lack of pension increases for well over a decade, as well as some key non-economic issues,” Jimenez pointed out. “We are ready to consider any revised proposals OCTA may have in mind, and we have provided them with available dates this week so we can sit back down at the negotiating table and come to an agreement to avoid a strike.”
The most recent three-year contract expired on Sept. 30. The union says they’ve met with OCTA over 20 times throughout the summer, but failed to reach an agreement every time.
Union organizers have accused OCTA of not “bargaining in good faith” while offering a “Last, Best & Final Offer” without giving the union enough time to respond. Further meetings resulted in rejections or cancellations on OCTA’s part, the union says.
“We believe the contract offer we’ve made to maintenance employees is in line with what was offered to our coach operators and other union workers,” said OCTA Chairman and Mayor of Orange Mark A. Murphy. “It’s a generous offer that is very competitive in the marketplace.”
All travel updates and suspensions can be found on OCTA’s website.
“We remain committed to do whatever it takes to avoid a labor action and disrupt transportation services for thousands of daily Orange County riders,” the union said. “However, we will stand united with our members and fight for a fair and equitable agreement.”