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Labor Relations Board orders bus contractor to stop withholding COVID-19 safety information from union members


Teamsters Local 533 is calling it a win. The National Labor Relations Board in late October ordered Keolis North America — the Washoe Regional Transportation Commission’s contractor to operate buses— to post a notice reminding union members of their rights.

Keolis is forced to acknowledge it has to provide union members important health and safety information the union requested months ago.

“We will not fail and refuse to provide…the Union with information that is relevant and necessary to its role as your bargaining representative, including…five categories of information it requested via email on July 16, 2020, regarding unit employees’ health and safety concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the notice states.

Union President Gary Watson said union members requested information related to COVID-19 safety concerns that Keolis “refused to provide.”

“It’s a huge win,” he said. “Hopefully it means we’ll have some better compliance out of the RTC’s contractor to sit down and respect our collective bargaining agreement — and respect our employees.”

Information requested included the number of buses with mask and hand sanitizer dispensers and when the dispensers were installed.

Watson said the issue over bus passengers wearing masks is headed to federal court and arbitration.

Union members have repeatedly expressed frustration with Keolis, especially during the global pandemic.

“It was such a mistake to give this company a contract,” an employee said. “This company is horrible.”

Keolis’ representative did not return a request for comment sent yesterday.

Bob Conrad
Bob Conradhttp://thisisreno.com
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. He is also a part time instructor at UNR and sits on the boards of the Nevada Press Association and Nevada Open Government Coalition.