LANCASTER – Antelope Valley Transit Authority bus riders were left without service Friday when Teamsters Local 848 walked off the job in a labor dispute with Transdev, the AVTA’s service contractor, the transit agency announced.
“AVTA’s local and commuter services were suspended today at 9 a.m. due to a sudden strike action taken by Teamsters Local 848 against AVTA’s contractor Transdev. AVTA had no advance notice of this work stoppage,” according to a statement posted by the transit agency on its website.
“AVTA is deeply disappointed that the Teamsters Local 848 decided to strike and, in the process, disrupt the lives of thousands of AVTA customers that rely on our transit services to get to work, medical appointments and other daily needs.
“AVTA will do everything we can to minimize the impact of this work stoppage.”
The agency statement stressed that the dispute is between the union and the contractor and does not involve AVTA.
“Although this impacts our riders and our community in a major way, the Teamsters’ dispute is with Transdev,” according to the agency. “Over the course of the agency’s 30-year existence, AVTA has never had a labor agreement with the Teamsters. AVTA has no legal role in these negotiations.”
No official comment from the union was immediately available, but a Local 848 representative said a statement would be forthcoming. Transdev, with a corporate headquarters in Lombard, Illinois, could not immediately be reached.
AVTA provides local, commuter and dial-a-ride service to residents of Lancaster and Palmdale as well as some unincorporated areas of northern Los Angeles County.
According to the AVTA statement, “the union operators have already received an average 32% increase effective Jan. 1, 2022. Despite this substantial increase from Transdev, the union is demanding more.”
In a statement on the transit agency’s website, AVTA Chairman of the Board Marvin Crist said, “AVTA’s position remains firm. We urge the Teamsters to return to the bargaining table and immediately cease actions that harm the most vulnerable. Work stoppages do nothing to advance their cause.”
The AVTA urged riders to check its website at https://www.avta.com/ or social media sites such as Twitter, @AVTA1.
Riders can also sign up for alerts at www.avta.com. The AVTA’s customer service phone number 661-945-9445.