Phoenix bus strike enters sixth day

Posted at 4:24 PM, Jan 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 22:58:33-05

Dueling press conferences on both sides of the strike marked the sixth day of limited bus service throughout the Valley.

LIST: All Phoenix routes affected by bus strike

Union leaders and drivers for Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433, or ATU, says Transdev cut off health benefits for workers because of the strike.

"My daughter needed medication and went to the pharmacy to get it and we were told that our insurance was cut off and at this point I'm not making any money and we're having a hard time and we can get that medication," said bus operator Don Ameden.

Union leaders said Transdev was not making negotiations easy.

"It takes two parties to negotiate a contract and one party up to this point has been bargaining in bad faith and I guarantee you it is not the union," said lead ATU negotiator Michael Cornelius.

Among other things, one of the speakers, Rev. Jared Maupin, accused the company of economic terrorism for holding public transportation hostage.

Trandev leaders called the remarks offensive.

"It's a choice that each employee has to make they had a choice, they still have a choice. Right now, the 80,000 people that we carry each weekday had no choice," said Transdev Phoenix General Manager Katrina Heineking.

Saturday level service will continue throughout the Valley until an agreement is met.