Teamsters Local 533 Stands Strong for Transit Workers at Keolis Corporation
Press Contact: Gary Watson Phone: (775) 348-6060
Keolis Corporation’s disregard for the well-being of our regional transit operators and support staff continues unabated. Since they agreed to join Teamsters Local 533 in a participatory process in August, this corporation has only engaged in four negotiation sessions and have been stonewalling the process ever since. “At this rate it will take more than three or four years to achieve a contract,” said Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson.
Over the past eighteen months, not only has Keolis Corporation failed to implement local, state, and federal COVID-19 safety requirements, they’ve also cut overtime and ignored safety measures. As a result, the company is struggling to maintain adequate staffing for service. Only 110 bus operators are currently employed by Keolis Corporation. For full service and operation, our transit system needs 187 bus operators. By continuing to stall in negotiations, Keolis Corporation not only overburdens the remaining bus operators and the support staff – they also fail the passengers in our community who depend upon our region’s bus system. What is Keolis Corporation’s endgame?
“Keolis Corporation is failing to recognize that there is a quality-of-life component for their employees and quality of life matters in our community. Many of our bus operators and support staff are mothers or single parents who need safe workplaces so they can be there for their families. Teamsters 533 has become a job placement facilitator, helping mistreated operators and support staff find work at UPS, Waste Management or other transit facilities, where they’re treated with respect,” said Teamsters 533 President Gary Watson.
Keolis Corporation’s do-nothing approach and lack of accountability have alienated not only their own employees, but also arbitrators and a federal mediator. Their unreasonableness during the participatory process resulted in the loss of one arbitrator last year and Keolis is on a path to run off the mediator this year should they continue to delay.
Over the past year, Keolis Corporation has also received millions of dollars in CARES Act, American Rescue Plan, and other federal funding, though the slush fund RTC Washoe has created for them, but with no public transparency or accountability.
“Keolis still answers to no one. Once again we encourage the community to stand with us in holding them accountable.”
Further information on the “Truth about Keolis” can be found at Teamsters533.org