Teamsters Local 952, the union that represents Orange County Transportation Authority’s mechanics and other technicians, announced that they will be going on strike Wednesday.
The announcement comes a little more than two weeks after a strike was averted at the request of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office.
The union, which represents about 150 employees, said in a press release Wednesday afternoon that “OCTA walked away from the table on Monday” and that the agency has “continually refuse[d] to bargain in good faith and disrespect[ed] us by walking out of negotiations.”
“We understand how this labor dispute will adversely affect thousands of riders who depend on the bus system for their transportation needs,” union Secretary-Treasurer Eric Jimenez said. “We have done everything in our power to avoid a strike.”
The union said it will only return to the negotiating table when OCTA “significantly modifies their bargaining position.”
“They have asked us to meet with them again on Friday. We are willing to do so only if there are significant changes in their bargaining posture. If not, another meeting would not be productive,” Jimenez said.
OCTA spokesperson Joel Zlotnik said the agency is “very disappointed” that the union appears ready to go on strike.
“We met with them on Monday. We thought we were making progress,” Zlotnik said, adding that they have not been told exactly when the strike will begin, only that it will be in the next 96 hours. Zlotnik called the impending strike “disappointing” for riders.
“We want to be able to give them an opportunity to prepare. Many of our riders have no other way to get around,” he said.
Service is expected to continue through Wednesday, and if the strike begins then, service will be halted on Thursday.
“We would like the union to come back and continue negotiating, because this is only going to hurt the people who can least afford to be hurt: our bus riders,” Zlotnik added.
For information, visit the Orange County Transportation Authority website.