LANCASTER – Veolia Transportation’s unionized work force issued a 72-hour notice to Veolia cancelling the day-to-day contract agreement that has been in place since April 1, 2012. Veolia Transportation is the operations contractor for the Antelope Valley Transit Authority.
It is unclear whether this means the Teamsters intend to strike. If this is the case, they could do so as early as 3:00 p.m. Thursday, April 26. There is a meeting scheduled between the parties with a federal mediator on April 25.
In July of 2011 the Teamsters voted to authorize a strike after their contract expired in June of that year. AVTA and Veolia immediately notified the press and public, posted daily updates on their website and hotline, and issued daily press releases, but the strike never materialized. Ultimately, Veolia and the Teamsters agreed to a contract extension through March 31, 2012.
AVTA has notified its regional public transportation partners (Los Angeles Metro, Metrolink, Santa Clarita Transit, and Access Services) of the need to coordinate potential replacement services. Veolia management has developed contingency plans to ensure as much service is provided as possible. Details will be publicized when more information is available.
Dial-a-Ride service, which focuses on the Antelope Valley’s most transit-dependent population, should not be impacted by this action, since these services are provided by a different company.
“Our top priority is for the safety, convenience, and satisfaction of our customers,” said AVTA Board Chairman Norm Hickling in a press release. “AVTA will continue to do everything in our power to minimize any service disruptions.”
AVTA will update its website (avta.com) and its commuter hotline 661-945-9445, extensions 785, 786, and 787, to reflect current service information.
(Information via press release from the Antelope Valley Transit Authority.)