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OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS)_ It’s been two weeks since AC Transit management imposed a new contract on its bus drivers resulting in an alleged “sickout” and consistent service delays.
The president of the drivers’ union expects this contract dispute could last months.
Claudia Hudson, president of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 192, has been negotiating on behalf of AC Transit’s 1,200 bus drivers for 18 years.
Hudson says it’s the first time since 1977 that the agency and the union haven’t been able to work out a deal.
“This is the first time in 33 years that the district has taken a position that they’re not going to negotiate and say, here you take what we give you, like it or not,” said Hudson.
AC Transit spokesman Sam Singer says unions need to understand that economic challenges are a reality.
“We hope that the union recognizes that, because otherwise they’re acting as if they were the unions in Vallejo and ultimately they bankrupted that city,” said Singer.
An Alameda County Superior Court judge is expected to rule on Monday whether AC Transit can continue imposing its new bus-driver contract during negotiations.