The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Southern Nevada is facing the possibility of a strike as negotiations continue between the bus drivers and mechanics. The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1637, which represents the workers, has rejected the latest offer from Transdev, the company that operates the RTC public bus service. The union overwhelmingly voted down the proposal, citing the need for higher salaries and improved safety.
Dennis Hennessey, a bus driver and ATU member, expressed dissatisfaction with the offer, stating, “For drivers and mechanics: no pay raise, no pay increase until next year, after they’ve been here for a year. And it’s a two percent across-the-board raise. For those of us drivers that are at the top of the pay scale, it’s an 11-cent-an-hour raise — which is nothing.” The rejected offer has increased the likelihood of a strike, with hundreds of union members threatening to walk off the job.
The potential strike could have significant implications as it coincides with Super Bowl 58, set to take place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on February 11. The union members are aware of the impact it could have on the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to attend the event. Hennessey highlighted the challenge of transportation during the Super Bowl, stating, “Sure would be tough if we were on strike for people to move around this town for Super Bowl since they’re not letting cabs, Uber, or Lyft go anywhere near Allegiant Stadium.”
In addition to concerns about salary, bus drivers also raised issues regarding worker safety, citing multiple violent incidents that occurred on RTC buses. Despite the escalating tensions, Transdev spokesperson Bill Marion emphasized that the negotiation process has been conducted in good faith and expressed hope for a swift resolution.
However, Transdev indicated that any potential strike would be illegal, stating that the union must provide a 30-day written notice to hold a legal strike. Despite the potential consequences, the union has not yet provided a formal strike notification, and both parties are operating under a valid agreement.
The possibility of a strike in the transportation sector comes amidst threats of a strike from the Culinary Union in Las Vegas. The possibility of dual strikes from key worker groups adds further pressure to ongoing negotiations and has raised concerns about potential disruptions to essential services in the region.