Bus strike over; union votes to accept contract

Posted at 2:43 PM, Jan 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-16 12:21:46-05

Union leaders announced Friday afternoon that they have voted to accept the latest contract offer from their employer, ending a week-long strike that forced thousands of Phoenix-area riders to find new transportation to and from work, school and home.

"It's over and done with," said Bob Bean, president for Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433 at a Friday afternoon media briefing. "[Drivers] are going back to work."

Officials said 85 percent of its members voted in favor of the latest contract with TransDev, the company contracted with the City of Phoenix to handle dozens of bus routes.

Now that the strike is over, workers are returning to work and hope to have bus service up and running normally as soon as possible.

The end of the strike could not come soon enough for several riders who spoke with ABC15 Friday night.

"I lost a couple hours of [wages]," Denise Kedian said. She was late to her Scottsdale job several times; the normal bus route she takes from her central Phoenix home was not running during the strike, she said.

Despite the inconvenience caused, Bean said the strike was worthwhile.

New hires will now be able to earn the same vacation time and 401(k) plans as senior drivers, Bean said.

Normal, weekday service will resume Tuesday. Buses will run on a Sunday system on Monday because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.