As a bus strike affecting several Valley Metro routes throughout the Phoenix metro enters its fourth day, union and civic leaders reemphasized their demands and determination to keep pushing forward.
Amalgamated Transit Union workers said they met with TransDev representatives and a federal mediator over the weekend to work continue talks, but accused the company of not considering their issues a priority.
"TransDev's message couldn't have been any clearer: The bus drivers, their families, and community members who rely on public transit are last in their list of priorities," the Union said in a release.
They also accused the company of canceling some workers' pre-paid health insurance.
The Union also identified nine of the sticking points they're hoping to negotiate with TransDev.
Those issues are: tiered payment system; termination clause; safety equipment; restrooms; how they're paid; monitoring camera (they want them removed); communication [they want email access]; discipline; and vacation and bereavement.
ATU 1433 began talks with TransDev, the company contracted through the City of Phoenix to handle its buses, in April. Those talks then took a six-month hiatus.
After rejecting the company's "last and best officer" on Friday, ATU voted to go on a strike. The strike comes as Phoenix and Glendale were set to host thousands of fans and activities related to the College Playoff National Championship game to be played at University of Phoenix Stadium on Jan. 11.
The company and union reps continued to meet with federal mediators over the weekend, but it doesn't appear any progress was made.
In a press release announcing Monday's press conference, ATU said, "TransDev's message couldn't have been any clearer: The bus drivers, their families, and community members who rely on public transit are last in their list of priorities."
The Union also accused TransDev of canceling pre-paid health insurance plans of some of those workers involved in the strike.
Amid the strike, TranDev's contract requires it to run a reduced level of service.
"We are very disappointed that our operators are being instructed by ATU 1433 to strike," Transdev said in a news release last week. "Our focus now will shift in preparing to provide valley riders with the service they have come to expect."
In October, the most recent month for which data is available, Transdev served roughly 78,000 passengers on a given weekday. That is out of an average daily ridership of 123,000, Jacoby said.