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Keolis settles more labor violations with bus drivers

By Bob Conrad

Keolis Transit North America has again settled numerous labor violations with local bus drivers and other transit workers.  

“This brings the total number of [labor violations] settled to 40, with more likely to follow,” said Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson.

Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson

Watson said the charges confirm Keolis retaliated against union members and all 40 charges were “resolved in the union workers’ favor. The National Labor Relations Board Settlement Agreement details a monetary settlement for two of our sisters who were retaliated against for honoring the picket line, among many other violations related to the three strikes in 2021.”

The union issued a press release about the labor violations and said most were “committed specifically against female workers.”

“Keolis tried to coerce and intimidate me to cross the picket line, I refused, and was subsequently terminated,” a union member, Rachel Drum, said in a media statement. 

Drum is reportedly going back to work as part of the settlements.

The latest settlements come after an independent arbitrator found Keolis failed to adequately enforce mask mandates on buses. 

Teamsters also said an independent audit found Keolis owed them $250,000 in pension funds, which, Watson said, Keolis still has not paid.

A letter provided to This Is Reno shows the Teamsters are still trying to collect the money from Keolis. 

“If full payment is not received within [30] days from first billing, the matter must be referred to the Trust Attorneys for collection. In that event, you will be required to pay an amount equal to 20% of the delinquent amount in liquidated damages, substantial additional interest, plus reasonable attorney’s fees,” Usman Aslam wrote on behalf of the Teamsters pension trust. 

EDITORIAL MEME by Darren Archambault. Darren is a graphic designer, meme artist, musician and political activist. When he is not doing freelance design or music, he is creating political editorial style memes, and co-running Reno/Sparks Mutual Aid.

“Since no notice was received within the prescribed thirty (30) days, your appeal rights concerning the audit findings have expired,” Aslam continued.

The teamsters are now seeking payment of the balance plus $19 per day and interest.

Watson again called upon the Washoe County Regional Transportation Commission members to take action against Keolis. 

Keolis representatives have publicly said they want to work with the union, but internal documents provided to This Is Reno shows Keolis’ representatives accusing teamsters of lying and defaming the company.

Keolis’ representatives would not respond to a request for comment for this story.

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