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Work slowdown at AVTA

OW Staff Writer | 3/3/2017, midnight
A series of contingency measures have been put into place by the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) because of a ...

A series of contingency measures have been put into place by the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) because of a labor slowdown involving its employees.

Transdev, AVTA’s contracted transit provider, is in negotiation with Teamsters Local 848 to forge a new contract since the old agreement expired on Dec. 31. The collective bargaining agreement covers about 120 operators and was extended on a month-to-month basis from Jan. 31 through Tuesday of this week. AVTA has announced the following steps have been taken to provide continual passenger service:

—Metrolink will provide services to supply adequate capacity on the trains in the event that the commuter bus service is impacted;

—Transdev has licensed supervisors and operators “on-call” to assume operations of any routes that are left uncovered due to a work slowdown, “sick in” or other labor action;

—Transit riders can find real-time route and schedule updates on the AVTA Facebook page or on the AVTA Twitter feed should any routes be delayed or suspended;

—AVTA will provide additional updates to the public as the issue develops.

“AVTA services are vital to the livelihood of thousands of our customers that depend on us to deliver them to school, work and other critical functions,” said Len Engel, AVTA executive director. “Under no circumstances will AVTA tolerate a situation where our riders are stranded because of a labor dispute. We are imploring both sides, our operators and our contractor provider, Transdev, to continue negotiating in good faith to find a mutually beneficial agreement.”

AVTA provides local, commuter and dial-a-ride service to a population of more than 450,000 residents in Lancaster, Palmdale and the unincorporated portion of northern Los Angeles County.