Teamsters Local 533 officials today said an agreement has been reached with Keolis Transit North America. While the third strike this year has not yet been called off, it is anticipated that if union members vote to approve the agreement, the strike will end.
“The agreement will be submitted for ratification by the represented employees this week. If approved, the workers will return and transit operations will resume immediately,” Teamsters’ Gary Watson said. “While many issues still exist between the corporation and the employees, such as numerous unresolved Unfair Labor Practices and arbitrations, we are hopeful Keolis will cooperate to resolve these outstanding disputes in the coming months to help secure a better working relationship with its essential workforce in Reno, Nevada.”
Keolis did not have a statement about the update from the Teamsters. This story is developing and will be updated.
Teamsters have battled Keolis for more than a year after the union accused the multinational company of failing to protect drivers and other transit workers from COVID-19.
The battle between the company and union has been at times hostile with both sides accusing the other of unfair practices and inaccurate claims. The bus drivers went on strike three times after what they said were failures by Keolis to compromise in developing a collective bargaining agreement, which expired July 1.
Keolis blamed the Teamsters for dealing in bad faith and walking out on negotiations.
Washoe County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) head Bill Thomas earlier this month said RTC, in response to the third strike, was preparing to offer alternative transit services–taxis and rideshares–for the long term.
The previous strike, Thomas said, cost RTC about $28,000 to secure alternative transportation for riders left stranded.
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 from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011, where he completed a dissertation on social media, journalism and crisis communications. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.