Teamsters Local 952 Reaches Out to OCTA Board of Directors to Avoid Disruption in Service
Press Contact: Eric Jimenez Phone: (714) 740-6242 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(ORANGE, Calif.) – Teamsters Local 952 has notified the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) that its maintenance employees have voted unanimously to strike beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, October 17, 2022. The vote came after OCTA refused to address key health and welfare issues and workers rejected a substandard final contract offer.
Local 952 has reached out to the OCTA Board of Directors in an effort to avoid a service disruption.
“We remain committed to doing what it takes to avoid a labor action that would disrupt transportation services for thousands of daily Orange County riders,” said Eric Jimenez, Local 952 Secretary-Treasurer. “However, we stand united with our members in the fight for a fair and equitable agreement.”
The collective bargaining agreement expired September 30 and covers 150 mechanics, machinists and service workers employed by OCTA. Negotiations began on May 25, 2022, and the two parties met 25 times throughout the summer. When it became clear OCTA was unwilling to address the substantial disparity between the maintenance workers’ monthly health care costs and their wages, Local 952 contacted the California State Mediation and Conciliation Service to assist with resolving the contract dispute.
Union officials provided county board members a timeline of the discussions and outlined key areas where OCTA refuses to reach agreement. Local 952 also noted that the transit authority is not bargaining in good faith.
“We believe that setting a budget before bargaining even begins and failing to address the issues that occur in the course of bargaining is an unfair labor practice,” Jimenez said. “An entity is not bargaining in good faith if it makes up its mind about what it will offer before bargaining even begins.”
Additionally, OCTA gave the members a “last, best, and final offer” at 5:00 p.m. on September 22, which left the union with no time to respond. Following that, OCTA agreed to meet for four days the following week since the previous offer was rejected. OCTA then canceled all of those negotiation dates except for one. Moreover, OCTA management did not meet with the union; they only met with the mediator for roughly three hours.
“OCTA must address wages, health care costs, the lack of pension increases for well over a decade, and some key non-economic issues,” Jimenez said. “We are ready to consider any revised proposals OCTA may have in mind, and we have provided them with available dates this week so we can sit back down at the negotiating table and come to an agreement to avoid a strike.
Located in Orange, California, Teamsters Local 952 represents roughly 9,000 truck drivers, office, food, and warehouse employees at a variety of locations throughout Orange County and the region. For more information, go to teamsters952.org.