In an effort to gain community support and bring attention to contract negotiations, AC Transit bus drivers and mechanics gathered at Fruitvale BART Station on Saturday to air their grievances against management over what they say are stalled negotiations. Their labor union, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192 (ATU Local 192) received support from other labor unions across the Bay Area.
In May, AC Transit's labor union entered negotiations with the company as their contract was set to expire at the end of June. In September, the union voted to authorize a strike as talks between both parties carried on.
"They've been meeting pretty regularly to try to negotiate a contract. Unfortunately, things have not been moving forward in the way that's productive for the workers," said Elizabeth Ortega-Toro, executive secretary-treasurer of Alameda Labor Council, an umbrella organization representing more than 135 unions.
AC Transit services approximately 1.5 million people who live in the agency's 364 square mile service area.
The union said talks have stalled over concerns regarding sickness and safety. Among other things, they are calling on the company to keep legacy language around sick policy in its renewed contract.