Orange County bus mechanics, machinists and techs to begin strike, halting service on weekdays in September
Two bus mechanics, a machinist, and an unspecified number of techs and clerks are at the center of yet another strike at the University of Southern California (USC) and its affiliate buses on Thursday and Friday.
The union representing about 1,200 bus operators says it’s fighting because management has imposed the most severe contract in eight years on them and they have reached “impasse.” Management says the union has demanded unreasonable concessions.
The union says it isn’t asking for anything “unreasonable” and has said it will consider re-negotiating or going to court if its bargaining position is not acceptable, per the Los Angeles Times.
While those talks continue, bus mechanics and other workers are facing a potential strike on Monday and Tuesday, and a possible strike on Wednesday. Workers are being asked to report to work on Monday, Aug. 13 after their first scheduled day off in August due to the strike.
The workers are mostly bus mechanics, but there are also clerks, a maintenance lead, a union shop steward, some driver and bus drivers, and “others.”
For their part, bus operators are preparing for a strike, and have warned other workers not to travel on the buses.
Meanwhile, the USC Board of Trustees is slated to hold its regularly scheduled meeting on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. (8:30 p.m. on Friday), though it’s unclear whether there can be a closed session.
“We all know there will be a massive union campaign,” the union said in a statement after the meeting. “UC is prepared to strike if it must.”
USC did not respond to a request for comment.
“This is the first time UC has ever been called to strike, but it is the first time the union has demanded back pay. What started as a