TEAMSTERS LOCAL 533
NORTHERN NEVADA/NORTHEASTERN CALIFORNIA


BREAKING NEWS —>

Updated on 10-23-2020 GMT

Covid Containment

 

Suede-shoe salesmen sucker city hall
Barbwire by
Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 10-21-2020 Sparks Tribune

THE LATEST BRIGHT SHINING LIE FROM YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

 

Our Toothless Mask Mandates
By Dr. Elizabeth Rosenthal / The New York Times op-ed 10-1-2020

A former big city ER physician, Dr. Rosenthal is an ex-NYT journalist who is now editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News. Her 2017 book "An American Sickness: How health care became big business and how you can take it back" is still the single best encapsulation of how to fix the broken US system. (For a film on some of its best suggestions, get Michael Moore's 2007 "Sicko.") Dr. Rosenthal's latest Times piece notes that law enforcement officials refusing to enforce gubernatorial mandates in Ohio and Wisconsin are creating "a new level of lawlessness." Ditto Nevada. Two of our Cow County sheriffs have announced the same thing, as has our Reno-Sparks-Washoe turkey. Ditto the Reno Police Dept. "Not our job." And our infection rate increases accordingly. What a country.

 

 

 

     KEOLIS-19 BREAKING NEWS —> (Reno, NV, 3:27 p.m. PDT, 18 Sept. 2020) —

IBT 533 Trade Unionists: Monitor KOLO TV-8 (ABC) from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. PDT today. (And 10:00 p.m. on CW Network over-the-air at 8.3 / Charter-Spectrum 695, Direct TV 9)

Ed Pearce
, the most experienced and credible TV journalist in northern Nevada for the past 50 years, interviewed union RTC drivers earlier today. The story should run today but there's always a disaster that can pre-empt. Yesterday, Mr. Pearce got diverted to the narrowly-averted NVEnergy cutoff of Incline Village electricity. TV2 ran the story of Local 533 vs. the transit system four times on Wednesday and probably again on their early morning Thursday newscasts.

I am informed that Regional Transportation Commission Executional Director Bill Thomas spoke before the four obtuse elected commissioners this morning and noted that RTC is doing all it can to enforce safety requirements.

Ahh, another bright shining lie.

Monitor NevadaLabor.com for ongoing updates. New things in the works soon. Keep us posted on what's happening with you. We especially need photos of packed buses with many maskless riders.

Be well. Raise hell. Stay safe.

     KEOLIS-19 BREAKING NEWS —> (Reno, NV, 4:36 p.m. PDT, 16 Sept. 2020) — Washoe County bus system management told KTVN TV-2 (CBS) News that they will not use their standing security force to enforce the governor's mask mandate but instead rely on local police. As noted on this site for months, both the Washoe County Sheriff and Reno Police Department have served notice that they will not enforce the safety of the bus system. TV-2 journalist Valentina Bonaparte reported that this diverges from southern Nevada, where officials told her that they use their security infrastructure to enforce COVID-19 mitigation procedures. Ride at your own risk in Reno-Sparks.

     An expanded version aired at 5:36 p.m., again at 6:34 p.m. and 7:05 p.m. PDT. You may visit TV-2's website or monitor for additional broadcasts tonight and well into Thursday morning news programs. Be sure to stay tuned to NevadaLabor.com for more. Be well. Raise hell.

September 14, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
GARY WATSON, President
Teamsters Union Local 533
(775) 348-6060 ext. 104


NO PANTS? NO SERVICE. NO MASK? OK.
TEAMSTERS UNION SUES OVER WASHOE BUS SYSTEM COVID-19 DANGERS
Union drivers test positive for virus
Management refuses governor's mask mandate
Charges also filed with federal regulatory agencies

RENO, Nev. — The Teamsters Union has filed for injunctive relief and fast-track arbitration to compel the Washoe County Regional Transportation bus system to enforce Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak's (D) mask mandate.

"This is an extreme measure because this is an extreme emergency and no one has responded all year," stated Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson.

The legal action was brought before the federal court system in Reno last Friday, Sept. 11.

"Our patience evaporated when we learned that a passenger was refused boarding because his pants were down but maskless passengers were allowed on the bus," Watson said.

"An epidemic of barefaced passengers rides every day, some on dangerously overcrowded buses. One rider even spit at a driver. Bus system management has tried to have it both ways, posting signs that masks are ineffective and others stating masks are mandatory, all the while threatening drivers with firing if they try to enforce the governor's legal order," Watson added.

"Hardworking Teamsters are both stressed by the dangerous conditions and distressed by their employer's reckless disregard for safety. The same goes for many passengers who have said so to our drivers," he asserted.

"The federal lawsuit states that the transit system's foreign-owned management corporation is contractually and legally bound to enforce basic safety practices," Watson noted.

"Instead, the overseas for-profit jobber has perverted the Americans With Disabilities Act in order to proceed under the fictitious and feckless assumption that everyone without a mask is somehow disabled and can't wear one," the longtime union leader stated.

"This is not Russia," Watson declared.

"Newly-hired Regional Transportation Commission Executive Director Bill Thomas
has appeared on paid advertising asserting that the governor's mandate is being enforced. But his managers are telling our drivers that anyone without a mask must be allowed to board or they risk disciplinary action," Watson noted.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC) is comprised of Washoe County Commissioners Vaughn Hartung (R) and Bob Lucey (R) and Reno City Councilmembers Neoma Jardon (R) and Oscar Delgado (D). The City of Sparks seat is now filled by Councillor Kristopher Dahir (R). His predecessor,
Sparks Mayor Ron Smith's (R) passing was announced on August 19. Requiescat in pace.

For decades, RTC has subcontracted management of the transit system to non-Nevada, for-profit contractors. The current RTC Ride system contractor is Keolis Transit America, a subsidiary of a for-profit French multi-national.

"Between March 12, 2020 and June 25, 2020, Governor Sisolak issued twenty-three directives pursuant to the March 12 Declaration of Emergency to provide for the safety, well-being and public health of Nevadans to prevent further spread of the COVID-19 virus," the union case states.

Local governments have been granted power to enact regulations stronger than the governor's order. (Declaration of Emergency Directive 024, Section 2, June 4, 2020)
Section 9 of the Governor's Directive grants authority to local law enforcement to police compliance and gives the Nevada attorney general concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute.

Instead, local, state and federal agencies have done nothing.

The bus system already employs security staff but they do not enforce the mask mandate. As a start, those officers could be empowered by local governments as an enforcement structure.

Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam (R), Reno-Sparks-Washoe's chief law enforcement officer, has announced that he and his deputies will not enforce Sisolak's mask mandate. (Reno Gazette-Journal front page, June 27, 2020)

Keolis Transit has been intransigent and sees no emergency, despite packed buses, and doesn't even want to discuss the issues until next year.

"On August 19, 2020, the parties chose a neutral arbitrator, Arbitrator James Merrill, to hear the case and issue a final and binding decision," the union court filing notes.

"On September 9, 2020, the parties set a hearing date with Arbitrator Merrill and Keolis for January 21, 2021. On September 9 and September 10, 2020, the Union demanded that Keolis accept Arbitrator Merrill’s offer to hear the matter by video conference on September 28, 29 or October 6, 8, 2020, Keolis refuses to accept these earlier dates. Keolis also continues to refuse to require passengers to wear masks pending the outcome of the arbitration."

Because the bus system continues to ignore the virus spread and dangerous conditions, Watson is asking passengers to use their phones to take time-dated photos of fellow riders without masks and e-mail them to him at <gary@teamsters533.org>

The union has also filed numerous charges with the combined state/federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Labor Relations Board.

The Nevada Division of Industrial Relations has levied fines on a few small and large businesses, none near the maximum.

"The top fine is $135,000 and all OSHA has to do is show up, put on a mask and take a bus ride," Watson said.

"Show me a local bar that serves 20,000 people day." Local saloons are re-opening this week.

See NevadaLabor.com for the full court filing, RTC commissioners' contact information, links, references, photos and complete background on these issues (scroll down this page) plus Teamsters/RTC history including the 2002 Hot August Strike.

Chartered in 1934, Teamsters Local 533 represents about 2,000 workers in various trades throughout northern Nevada and eastern California.
_____________
CASE NUMBER: U.S. District Court/Nevada, Case No. 3:20-CV-517
The documents were e-mailed to Keolis attorneys in Florida on Sept. 11, 2020, immediately after they were filed at the Bruce Thompson Federal Courthouse in Reno.

 

South Lake Tahoe: $100 and $500 fines for lack of masks
Reno-Sparks-Washoe transit system: We don't care, we don't have to. Let's go to lunch.
Tahoe Daily Tribune / 8-19-2020

Lemmings, ostriches & dirty-talking desert rats
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 8-19-2020 Sparks Tribune

They say what I never said. Read the column, below. Please note their announcement above in green that once again lies about face masks being required. AB

Andrew Barbano: Enemy of the state
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 8-12-2020 Sparks Tribune

Dear Guv: Put your foot where your mouth is
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 7-29-2020 Sparks Tribune

BREAKING NEWS 7-30-2020 —> Second Teamsters driver tests positive for COVID-19

 

"We just come to work here, we don't come to die." — Union longshoreman and labor songwriter Harry Stamper

RENO, Nev. (7-23-2020) — A second Washoe County bus driver has tested positive for the Coronavirus while system managers continue their refusal to enforce Gov. Steve Sisolak's mask mandate.

The driver is very confident he contracted his illness on the job.

"For months, we've been issuing warnings, contacting elected officials and government offices and our worst fears are coming true," stated Teamsters Union Local 533 President Gary Watson.

"The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is doing only one job well, misguiding the public and the governor about safety," Watson added.

"Their PR department can't wish away what's happening on the streets. RTC has posted signs on buses that masks are ineffective. Before the union raised the issue in the media, masks were only available for passengers during office hours at the downtown Reno and Sparks bus stations. After we complained, they announced 'mask dispensers' on all vehicles and installed shower curtains to protect drivers, which one rider spit on," Watson stated.

The union has called for free ongoing testing for drivers and support staff as well as using RTC security to enforce the governor's mandate.

"I'm pregnant and cannot afford nor have the energy for conflict or confrontation," stated union driver Athena Duffy. "I love my job as a driver but I won't be returning anytime soon. It's just not safe for my unborn child."

Under threat of firing, drivers must allow unmasked passengers to board.

The bus system already employs security staff but they do not enforce the mask mandate. As a start, those officers could be empowered by local governments to form a basic enforcement structure. Governor Sisolak's emergency order grants wide powers to local elected officials. Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam (R) has stated that his staff will not enforce the governor's mandate.

NO PANTS? NO SERVICE. NO MASK? OK.

"Our patience with RTC evaporated when we learned that a passenger was refused boarding on July 3 because his pants were down but maskless passengers were allowed on the bus," Watson asserted.


When is a dispenser not a dispenser?

Dispenser, Reno-style
Dispenser, Motown-style

I find that face mask dispensers are only about $25 and hold the mask boxes so they can be refilled easily.  I am sure the bus company can get them in bulk.

RTC should fix this immediately as there are thousands of low income citizens that should not be terrified by the danger of delay inherent in treating health issues on what amounts to their only source of transportation.

This "no mask required policy" clearly has a disparate impact on low income families and disproportionately on people of color.

Please forward my words to RTC and the other government heads responsible.

Lonnie L. Feemster, President
NAACP Reno-Sparks Branch No. 1112
July 23, 2020

RTC's highly-touted mask dispensers are in reality just boxes which anyone can easily contaminate.

Union driver Janet McDowell says "everyone touches all the masks, digging for one on the bottom. It's gross."

Driver Juliet Walker says "they aren't mask dispensers, they are open boxes on the dashboard, fully exposed to people's dirty hands. Keolis has again dropped the ball. We want our passengers to be safe and mask up, but I'm concerned about the safety of an open box of masks on the dash exposed to all kinds of hazards."

Foreign-owed Keolis Transit is the transit system's latest management contractor. The RTC website brags about a high compliance rate.

"The 99.9 percent compliance rate is a lie. It's more like 50-70 percent on several routes," Jennifer Bowers Thomas stated on Facebook. "I have seen it time and time again and filed multiple complaints," she added.

"The Reno and Sparks City Councils and the Washoe County Commission are fully aware of the situation and have done nothing to reign in a rogue, foreign-owned management company. Worse, Regional Transportation Commission Executive Director Bill Thomas has appeared on paid television advertising asserting that the governor's mandate is being enforced. But his managers are telling our drivers that anyone without a mask must be allowed to board or they risk being fired," Watson stated. (See NevadaLabor.com)

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County is comprised of Washoe County Commissioners Vaughn Hartung (R) and Bob Lucey (R); Reno City Councilmembers Neoma Jardon (R) and Oscar Delgado (D). The City of Sparks seat is now filled by Councillor Kristopher Dahir (R). His predecessor, Sparks Mayor Ron Smith's (R) passing was announced on August 19. Requiescat in pace.

For decades, RTC has subcontracted management of the transit system to non-Nevada, for-profit contractors. The current RTC Ride management company, Keolis Transit America, is a subsidiary of French multi-national for-profit Keolis Transit.

Local governments have been granted power to enact regulations stronger than the governor's order.
(Declaration of Emergency Directive 024, Section 2, June 4, 2020)

"We need the strongest enforcement in the state because 20,000 passengers a day are being exposed due to the intransigence of system managers and indifference by our local political leaders," Watson said.

The union has filed dozens of charges with the combined state/federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Labor Relations Board.

The Nevada Division of Industrial Relations last week levied fines on a few small and large businesses, none near the maximum.

"The top fine is $135,000 and all OSHA has to do is show up, put on a mask and take a bus ride," Watson said.

"Show me a local bar that serves 20,000 people day. These vehicles are the rolling equivalent of Petri-dish ocean liners."

See NevadaLabor.com for commissioner contact information, links, photos and complete background on these issues plus Teamsters/RTC history including the 2002 Hot August Strike.

Chartered in 1934, Teamsters Local 533 represents about 2,000 workers in various trades throughout northern Nevada and eastern California.

Gov. Sisolak's staff misinforms the boss

Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson corrects the record

 

And RTC tells passengers masks don't work anyway, so why bother?

 

Governor mistakenly praises cosmetic safety measures
NO PANTS? NO SERVICE. NO MASK? OK.
RTC Washoe in fact ignores governor's mask mandate
Charges filed with federal agencies

RENO, Nev. (July 22, 2020 — The first Washoe County bus driver has tested positive for the Coronavirus while system managers continue refusing to enforce Gov. Sisolak's mask mandate.

"Our members began testing earlier this month and more are being tested now that the one of our drivers has contracted COVID-19," stated Teamsters Union Local 533 President Gary Watson.

"It is ironic that after bus system management acknowledged our driver's illness on July 21, a day later, the governor praised RTC 'for helping employees and customers take precautions against COVID-19' by installing open boxes of masks in buses," Watson added.

"Gov. Sisolak has done an outstanding job in managing this crisis but his staff should read the local papers or check out our website," Watson said.

"Worse, the bus system has posted signs discouraging people from wearing masks," Watson said. (See NevadaLabor.com)

"Our patience with RTC evaporated when we learned that a passenger was refused boarding on July 3 because his pants were down but maskless passengers were allowed on the bus."

On July 6, a driver reported "standing room only, eight passengers without masks."

"We have proof of an epidemic of passengers without masks riding every day." Watson said.

"One spit at a driver. Bus system management nonetheless posted signs that masks are ineffective even as they make open Kleenex boxes of masks available on buses," Watson added.

"The Reno and Sparks City Councils and the Washoe County Commission are fully aware of the situation and have done nothing to reign in a rogue, foreign-owned management company.

Worse, Regional Transportation Commission Executive Director Bill Thomas has appeared on paid television advertising asserting that the governor's mandate is being enforced. But his managers are telling our drivers that anyone without a mask must be allowed to board or they risk being fired," Watson stated. (See below, left.)

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County is comprised of Washoe County Commissioners Vaughn Hartung (R) and Bob Lucey (R); Reno City Councilmembers Neoma Jardon (R) and Oscar Delgado (D). The City of Sparks seat is now filedl by Councillor Kristopher Dahir (R). His predecessor, Sparks Mayor Ron Smith's (R) passing was announced on August 19.

Requiescat in pace.

For decades, RTC has subcontracted management of the transit system to non-Nevada, for-profit contractors. The current RTC Ride management company is Keolis Transit America, a subsidiary of French multi-national for-profit Keolis Transit.

Local governments have been granted power to enact regulations stronger than the governor's order. (Declaration of Emergency Directive 024, Section 2, June 4, 2020)

"We need the strongest enforcement in the state because 20,000 passengers a day are being exposed due to the intransigence of system managers and indifference by our local political leaders," Watson said.

"The governor has empowered the local governments. Now they must use it for the health of their citizens," Watson said.

"People are falling ill. RTC and its foreign contractor should provide free regular Coronavirus testing for all drivers and support staff," Watson demanded.

The bus system already employs security staff but they do not enforce the mask mandate.

As a start, those officers could be empowered by local governments as an enforcement structure. Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam (R) has stated that his staff will not enforce the governor's mandate.

The union has filed a dozens of charges with the combined state/federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Labor Relations Board.

The Nevada Division of Industrial Relations last week levied fines on a few small and large businesses, none near the maximum.

"The top fine is $135,000 and all OSHA has to do is show up, put on a mask and take a bus ride," Watson said.

"Show me a local bar that serves 20,000 people day. These vehicles are the rolling equivalent of Petri-dish ocean liners."

See NevadaLabor.com for commissioner contact information, links, photos and complete background on these issues plus Teamsters/RTC history including the 2002 Hot August Strike.

Chartered in 1934, Teamsters Local 533 represents about 2,000 workers in various trades throughout northern Nevada and eastern California.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
GARY WATSON, PRESIDENT
Teamsters Union Local 533
1190 Selmi Drive, Suite 100
Reno, NV 89512
(775) 348-6060 ext. 104


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Corporate Spin
"RTC Washoe to install masks dispensers in buses"
— Reno Gazette-Journal headline 6-3-2020

The high-tech, user-safe reality on July 8

The Awful Truth from the Front Lines

"Having masks on the bus when we have supplies is making a world of good. People appreciate it."

"Not all buses have them and by mid-shift and night shift, the ones that do are empty with no refills available."

"This company is putting everything on us drivers. We have yet to have any training about any of this. We just have to watch the news to see what the governor says. Keolis is leaking on training. We have not had a safety meeting in months."

"I came on duty tonight. By the time I got downtown to 4 SS (the downtown Reno station), I found a few masks in a bag. I split what was in there with another driver. We each got five masks for the entire 8-hour shift."

— Comments from Teamsters drivers who risk their lives every day

 

There just ain't no cure for stupid
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 7-8-2020 Sparks Tribune

Ship of Fools: Washoe County as derelict ocean liner
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the Wednesday 7-1-2020 Sparks Tribune


July 1, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
GARY WATSON, PRESIDENT
Teamsters Union Local 533
(775) 348-6060 ext. 104

BUS BOSSES BUSTED
COVID CAVE-IN: Transportation Commission misleads media, passengers and taxpayers with bogus safety claims


Photos from 6-30-2020

Passengers and a driver, downtown Reno, 2:30p.m. 6-30-2020
Maskless passenger exiting, Reno 2:30p.m. 6-30-2020

Photos from 6-26-2020

The above sign was provided by the State of Nevada
The sign was posted and masks offered on the RTC FlexRide and RTC Access paratransit services but NOT on scheduled buses. Read on. —>
The above RTC Ride bus displays neither State of Nevada notice nor offer of masks. (Photos in this segment taken on June 26, 2020, the day that Gov. Sisolak's Emergency Directive took effect.)
Friday 6-26-2020 e-mail from management to drivers in direct contravention of the governor's lawful emergency directive
As noted in the news bulletins at right, masks are only offered to bus passengers during office hours at the downtown Reno and Sparks bus stations. Two RTC sister services made them available on every vehicle, although ordered to ignore those refusing to cover up. (See above e-mail screenshots.) Who's on first?

RTC's Paris, France-based management subcontractor ordered all employees to wear masks.* The above sub-contracted janitor apparently did not receive the memo or perhaps he was not instructed as to where to put it.

* "All employees must adhere to the governors orders in common areas (this includes all RTC facilities). Any time there is more than one person in a room. We are working to place signs for customers informing them of the governors orders." (Keolis management memo June 25, 2020)

RENO, NV (July 1, 2020, 3:38 a.m. PDT / U-News) — Playing political spin games with safety, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County intentionally misinformed passengers and taxpayers on Monday.

"Safety is not a media manipulation game," stated Teamsters Union Local 533 President Gary Watson.

"After the union blew the whistle on RTC's refusal to enforce Gov. Steve Sisolak's June 26 statewide facemask mandate, RTC management sent out a press release which proved false on all major counts," Watson said, "and we have published the photos to prove it." (See left.)

"The RTC press release 'announcing' mask requirements was distributed after 5:00 p.m. Monday, June 29, so even those who might have ventured to the Reno or Sparks downtown bus stations would have been out of luck as the only distribution points close at Happy Hour," Watson added.

Last week, bus system management ordered its drivers to allow all passengers to board, masked or not. (See June 26 text messages and photos at left.)

[UPDATE 11:30a.m. PDT July 1: Some employees were verbally instructed this morning to allow ALL passengers on their buses, even those without masks.]

[UPDATE 5:01p.m. PDT July 1: More than 50 passengers without masks were reported in one eight-hour period on June 30.]

"When the union decried the danger, they decided to dissemble by distributing fake news," Watson said.

"It partially worked. They got the benefit of a newspaper headline which read 'RTC Washoe to install masks dispensers in buses' but that was never mentioned to us and we're supposed to be notified of such workplace changes," Watson noted. "It's pure post-facto PR but headline skimmers might assume compliance," he asserted.

"There is no timeline for installation of the dispensers. The head apparently doesn't know what the mouthpiece is doing," Watson stated. 

"Perhaps worst of all, RTC told the Reno Gazette-Journal that 'a random onboard survey of buses on Friday found passengers to be 100% in compliance with the mandate.' I saw otherwise last week, continuing through Tuesday and have published the photos," Watson said. (RGJ page 9A June 29 and rgj.com/)

ALSO FROM THE JUNE 29 RGJ: "When asked by the Reno Gazette-Journal on Monday if RTC Washoe told drivers to ignore the mask mandate, spokeswoman Lauren Ball responded by saying 'absolutely not...Health and safety are our top priorities.' " (RGJ page 9A and rgj.com/)

The union just learned that a separate RTC contractor [2] has been passing out masks since last week but likewise ordered not enforcing the mandate. RTC
[1] bus drivers could have been distributing masks already but instead were ordered to ignore the governor's legally binding emergency order.

"The system remains unsafe. They can't use PR spin to intimidate the Coronavirus. Or the union," Watson concluded.

Teamsters 533 is in the process of filing an array of federal charges with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

___________________

[2] Missouri-based MTM manages RTC Access and RTC Flex for seniors and the physically challenged, respectively. Bus system contractor Keolis Transit America is a subsidiary of a Paris, France, multi-national corporation. Flex and Access posted State of Nevada mandatory mask notices (6-26 photos at left) but the legal mandate was not enforced, according to Teamsters members. Management ordered drivers to board anyone who refused to wear a mask. This is of special concern due to the pre-existing conditions of Access and Flex users.



       "Listen and understand. That Terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with, it can't be reasoned with, it doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear. And it absolutely will not stop — ever — until you are dead!"
— Actor Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese in the classic sci-fi drama "The Terminator"
(Released appropriately in 1984)



KEOLIS-19: TRANSIT SYSTEM DEFIES GOVERNOR'S ORDER
Reno-Sparks-Washoe passengers, families and workers jeopardized

RENO, NV (Friday June 26, 2020 / Updated Monday 6-29-2020 / U-News) — The for-profit operator of Washoe County's public transit system is refusing to obey Gov. Steve Sisolak's order requiring drivers and passengers to wear masks. The directive went into effect at 11:59 p.m. PDT Thursday, June 25.

       "This is more than corporate intransigence, it's lethal," said Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson."

       "Drivers tell me that some passengers flaunt their refusal to wear masks in sympathy with President Trump."

       Further confusing matters, RTC's other contractor, MTM Transit, has posted signs in its vehicles requiring full mask compliance but on June 26, drivers were ordered by RTC to ignore the signs. Missouri-based MTM runs RTC Access and RTC Flex, smaller vehicles for senior citizens and the physically challenged. They have been offering complimentary masks to passengers. (Photos at left.) The Coronavirus has infected and killed regardless of age and recent victims have increasingly been under well 50 years of age.

       The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada has advertised its compliance. Their website states "Per the governor’s directive, face coverings are required to use our transit and paratransit service, effective June 26."

       "This is one time that I hope what's happening in Vegas does not stay in Vegas," Watson asserted.

       For decades, Washoe County's Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) has outsourced bus system management to out-of-state and often foreign corporations. The latest RTC Ride operator, Keolis Transit America, is a subsidiary of a Paris, France, multi-national.

       RTC is comprised of elected officials from the Washoe County Commission and the Reno and Sparks city councils. [1]

        "For about half a million dollars a year, a long list of subcontractors have usually provided just two or three non-Nevada executives," Watson stated. "Current manager Abul Hassan has come up with a nit-pickety rationale for not enforcing the governor's very sensible and very necessary order," he added.

       In his Wednesday press conference, Governor Sisolak stated "No shoes, No shirt, No Mask, No service."

       "His meaning could not be more plain. Lives are on the line — the bus line," Watson said.

       "Mr. Hassan is treating masks as optional and told me that if people want one, they can go to either the Reno or Sparks downtown terminals during office hours and ask. However, not every passenger goes through those hubs. What's wrong with drivers handing masks to passengers as they board? That's what MTM is doing," Watson noted.

       "Mr. Hassan's tortured reasoning is so self-satirizing that it would be funny if the situation were not so serious," he added. "Why can passengers only get masks between 8:00a.m. and 5:00p.m. and only at two locations? Does the virus start at 8:00 and go off-shift at Happy Hour? Masks need to be available 24/7, covering the mouth and nose of everyone in each and every RTC public facility and prior to boarding any transit service," Watson stated.

       "All other government agencies represented by the Teamsters have been following the Governor’s Directive and will not service customers without a mask.

       "Mr. Hassan and RTC Executive Director Bill Thomas consistently pass the baton of responsibility to RTC contractors, but they are exactly that — contractors working for the taxpayers and passengers. As a public entity, RTC owns the equipment and property which contractors utilize to perform services that RTC markets to the community," Watson said.

       "RTC is not just a piggybank for corporations," Watson asserted. "It's time for highly-paid executives to execute. I visited the downtown Reno hub at mid-day Friday, June 26, well within the mask availability office hours which RTC has declared. I was very disappointed to witness only a single Keolis representative directing employees to wear masks, but doing nothing for passengers walking by to ride buses barefaced.

       "Why isn’t the RTC facilitating compliance on its public property and operating within the mandate? I assume that follows from Mr. Thomas' statement to me that '(We) do not feel we are party to non-compliance with the Governor’s directive.'

       "He does not feel RTC is covered by the Governor’s Directive because it employs contractors," Watson stated. RTC buses still do not have signs regarding mask use although RTC Access and RTC Flex do. (See photos at left.)

       The United States this past week experienced its highest single-day spike of new COVID-19 cases, as did Nevada. The Silver State is one of at least 30 suffering spreading sickness as society reopens. A recent poll shows 89 percent of Americans wearing masks. (ABC News June 26) Japan did everything wrong but still contained the Coronavirus because wearing masks is very common in their society. (New York Times June 6)

       Washoe County health officer Kevin Dick said that Washoe's spike is not due to increased testing or a backlog of test samples. (Reno Gazette-Journal June 26)

       Section 7 of the governor's Declaration of Emergency lists exceptions to wearing masks.

       Focusing on narrow exemptions, on June 25, Abul Hassan wrote Watson regarding Section 7: "I do not want to place our operators in a position where they are trying to determine the age difference between a 9 year old or 13 year old, determine whether a person is homeless or not, determine whether a person’s medical condition or disability (Americans with Disabilities Act) enables them to not wear a mask, etc. Given the sociodemographic of our ridership a sizable percentage of the population in section 7 happens to also be the general ridership."

       Watson expressed disappointment.
"Mr. Hassan is apparently worried that masks will erode ridership and revenue, making him look bad," Watson said. "On the contrary, lack of masks will do just that."

       Washoe County health officer Kevin Dick advised people to walk away from businesses not practicing proper safety procedures. (Reno Gazette-Journal June 26)

       "Mr. Hassan uses section 7 of the governor's order to nullify the entire mandate," Watson stated. "What's wrong with handing a passenger a mask? And how does a homeless person prove homelessness? Ironically, some bogus website is selling official-looking cards that say the bearer is exempt from wearing a mask. Perhaps Mr. Hassan will subscribe," Watson stated.

       "We understand bus operators are not police officers," Watson responded to Hassan on June 25, "but I hope you understand that if you can’t provide proper pandemic precautionary measures, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) hotline calls will go up and subject Keolis (and thus the taxpayers) to fines for non-compliance. Teamsters Local No. 533 wants ALL employees and ALL the riding public safe during the pandemic."

       Section 9 of the Governor's Directive grants authority to local law enforcement to police compliance and gives the Nevada attorney general concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute.

GOVERNMENT-CREATED MALADY TURNS DEADLY

       "Subcontracting the management of the local public transit system has been a decades-long costly mistake that just turned deadly," Watson noted.

       "Giving control to foreign companies provides local elected officials with plausible deniability no matter what happens. Our union has been fighting this battle for decades and it must stop because it is finally going to kill people," he added.

       "I have been in contact with local government officials who have told me that they are hands-off, won't intervene and have no management control. The system is working as it was designed many years ago. It has cost the taxpayers millions and will now cost lives," Watson said.

       "COVID-19 safety complaints have been ignored by police officials who don't want to be Coronavirus cops," Watson noted. Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam, Reno-Sparks-Washoe's chief law enforcement officer, has announced that he and his deputies will not enforce Sisolak's mask mandate. (Reno Gazette-Journal front page, June 27, 2020)

       "I can only appeal to the consciences of local officials and the public. I will be contacting the governor's office and federal safety agencies," Watson added.

       "I urge constituents to speak forcefully to their Reno, Sparks and Washoe County elected officials and ask them to act and act quickly. Lives are on the line," Watson concluded.

       Chartered in 1934, Teamsters Local 533 represents about 2,000 workers in various trades throughout northern Nevada and eastern California.



       "Listen and understand. That Terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with, it can't be reasoned with, it doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear. And it absolutely will not stop — ever — until you are dead!"
— Actor Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese in the classic sci-fi drama "The Terminator"
(Released appropriately in 1984)



       [1] REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION OF WASHOE COUNTY — Sparks: Vacant; Washoe County Commissioners Vaughn Hartung (R) and Bob Lucey (R); Reno City Councilmembers Neoma Jardon (R) and Oscar Delgado (D).The City of Sparks seat is now filled by Councillor Kristopher Dahir (R). His predecessor, Sparks Mayor Ron Smith's (R) passing was announced on August 19. Requiescat in pace.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
GARY WATSON, PRESIDENT
Teamsters Union Local 533
1190 Selmi Drive, Suite 100
Reno, NV 89512
(775) 348-6060 ext. 104

 

Despite evidence, mask mandate meets resistance
This Is Reno online, Bob Conrad, editor

 

Teamsters 533 persuades Waste Management to protect public and drivers
4-1-2020 Sparks Tribune

Teamsters UPS members protest unsafe working conditions nationwide
3-25-2020 Sparks Tribune


Requiescat in pace
Breaking News (Friday 6 Dec 2019 3:43 p.m. PST) — NevadaLabor.com has been informed of the passing of former Teamsters Local 533 Principal Officer Paul Tea, 51. He worked for Yellow Freight and left three children. Monitor this website for details as they become available. May our brother Paul rest in peace.

Teamsters win unanimous vote at Bell Limo

Teamsters boycott of Grand Sierra-Reno announced at NAACP annual awards dinner
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 10-23-2019 Sparks Tribune

Federal judge blocks threatened Teamsters 533 Sparks-Reno-Washoe garbage strike
By James DeHaven / Reno Gazette-Journal 11-21-2018

Beer & music and rendering unto Caesar
Longtime Local 533 member Mark Lowell Anderson (1957-2018)
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 5-16-2018 Sparks Tribune


UPDATE 5:58 p.m. PDT 4 August/ 00:58 GMT 5 August: Secret ballots were counted Friday afternoon, Aug. 4, 2017.
Union members approved the new contract with MV Transportation of Texas.



MEDIA ADVISORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
GARY WATSON, PRESIDENT
Teamsters Union Local 533
(775) 348-6060 ext. 104

Teamsters and transit contractor reach tentative agreement
Strike avoided pending worker vote

RENO, NEV. (28 July 2017) — The Teamsters Union and the Texas-based contractor that manages the local transit system have reached a tentative four-year contract.

After an all-day session that went into Wednesday evening, an agreement was reached. Union members will review and vote on the contract next week. [UPDATE: Voting will take place all day Friday, August 4. Ballots will be counted starting at 5:00 p.m. PDT.]

"We had a very respectful meeting between the union leadership, our negotiating committee and MV Transportation's chief operating officer," stated Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson.

MV Transportation COO Kevin Klika personally traveled to Reno to work on details. The four-year deal is a first, as agreements with Regional Transportation System of Washoe County contractors and the union have usually had three-year terms.

"We were already close on wage issues but health care was the sticking point which brought us to the doorstep of striking," Watson stated.

The existing two-tiered, three-plan health system has been eliminated and workers will now be enrolled in the union Delta Plan started January 1. Supervisors will be eligible for the union plan a year later.

"That takes away a lot of worry with the Affordable Care Act under fire in Washington," Watson said. "The endangered ACA had been one of the available choices."

The Teamsters Union represents 187 workers in the main bargaining group, including drivers, dispatchers, mechanics, maintenance and support workers. Under a separate contract, they represent eight supervisors. Not all are union members but they are represented by and covered under the Teamsters contract according to law. MV has run the system since 2011.

Existing operators, dispatch and maintenance personnel will see a 9.1 percent increase in wages over the contract's life, starting with an immediate bump to $21 per hour, as will starting supervisors. New bus operators will get a $2.00 per hour increase upon starting, bringing them to $14 per hour, and a 9.1 percent increase over the contract term.

"We hope this will cut back on the turnover rate," Watson said, adding that "two of three new drivers hired over the past three years have quit. At $2,500 apiece in training costs, that's $285,000," he noted. [1]

Starting service (utility) workers will get an immediate $3.50 per hour raise to $15.00 per hour beginning wage, then seven percent over four years. All workers will get additional hourly payments toward their retirement plans.

The union has agreed to drop federal charges filed against the company for illegally bringing in strikebreakers without a strike. Some were even given RTC uniforms and allowed to drive routes before negotiations even resumed. (Video and photos at NevadaLabor.com/) Under MV's contract with RTC, the taxpayers will be obligated pick up all strikebreaker expenses. MV's agreement expires in 2019.

The only strike since the modern transit system was created occurred in 2002, although workers have come close to the brink on at least two occasions since.

The employees voted in January to authorize a strike at any time, reaffirmed by a July 14 vote rejecting a deficient company offer.

The Regional Transportation Commission is comprised of Reno City Councilmembers Neoma Jardon and Paul McKenzie; Washoe County Commissioners Marsha Berkbigler and Bob Lucey and Sparks City Councilmember Ron Smith. Easily used contact info for all of them is available at NevadaLabor.com/

Teamsters Local 533 has represented RTC bus system and RTC Access paratransit personnel for more than a quarter-century. Chartered in northern Nevada in 1934, the union averages about 2,000 members in a variety of businesses and government agencies throughout northern Nevada, eastern California and the Tahoe basin. The union has been active in northern Nevada since at least since 1919 when Teamsters Local 595 represented workers.

The history of the RTC/Teamsters relationship, including the 2002 strike/lockout, may be accessed via NevadaLabor.com/
__________
[1] Of 173 hired over the past three years, only 59 remain. Training costs $2,500 per worker. Thus, $2,500 x 114 former trainees = $ 285,000.00.


Tired of tiers, municipal bus line workers authorize strike

By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 7-27-2017

 



Illegal worker intimidation 101: Foreign RTC contractor broke the law by putting strikebreakers to work during employee voting on management's contract proposal. It was overwhelmingly rejected. Strike authorized. More strikebreakers shilling on the streets.

Reno 14 July 2014 — Invasion of yellow-jacketed Texas Rats: Strikebreakers put to work even with no strike. That's a lotta chutzpah, even from the Confederacy.

View video of our taxpayer-paid tourists shot July 14

PREMATURE UNION BUSTER — Dressed as an actual RTC worker, the above imported strikebreaker was caught illegally operating an RTC Citifare bus on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. We know she's an extraterrestrial because she apparently has eyes on the top of her head.

The union immediately filed charges of illegal unfair labor practices with federal officials.
Stay tuned.

Updated 20 and 26 July 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
GARY WATSON, PRESIDENT
Teamsters Union Local 533
(775) 348-6060 ext. 104
E-mail <gary@teamsters533.org>

Texas Hold'em—>RTC Washoe transit system workers overwhelmingly reject contract offer, strike authorized
Strikebreakers on the streets of Reno-Sparks without a strike
Charges of illegal unfair labor practices filed with federal authorities

System manager up for a big raise
Update: He got it just in time for a strike

     RENO, NEV. (20 July 2017) — The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC) will consider a substantial raise for its executive director on July 20 while almost 200 of his workers remain under threat of replacement.
     "We found it a positive step that management appeared to heed our call to send out-of-state strikebreakers home after we caught them illegally driving buses last week with no strike," stated Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson.
     "We were dismayed late Wednesday to learn that strikebreakers are back on the streets. We will file additional federal charges," he added.
     "A foreign-owned former management company precipitated a major strike then ordered an employee lockout in 2002 and we have come close to striking several times since," Watson stated.
     "Following in their footsteps, during its first year on the job in 2012, current contractor MV Transportation of Texas brought in and housed paid strikebreakers without RTC permission. We never came close to striking but despite our protests, the commission retroactively paid all the unauthorized strikebreaker expenses which should have been borne by the contractor.
     "All these mis-managed millions paid over the years could have been put to better use improving transportation. Our members hear constant complaints from senior citizens, students, low-wage workers, the sick and disabled about inadequate or out-of-reach service," Watson added.
     RTC will meet beginning at 1:00 PDT July 20 in the chambers of the Washoe County Commission, 1001 E. Ninth Street, Building A, Reno NV 89512.
     The board will consider raising the salary of Executive Director Lee Gibson up to five percent. His salary and benefits for 2016 totaled $322,510.59. [1]
     "On RTCWashoe.com, Mr. Gibson brags about having cut costs 30 percent since 2009. His compensation has risen 17 percent over the past three years while his transit system workers got nothing from 2011 through 2013 and a stingy 2 percent annually the past three years," Watson said.
     "We haven't even been keeping up with regional inflation," he added, "which does not take into account that the Truckee Meadows today is a gold rush boomtown with prices skyrocketing," he added. [2]
     "Rubbing salt in workers' wounds, in 2012, Mr. Gibson supported RTC giving away more than $50 million in corporate welfare," Watson said.
     "We take the early return of strikebreakers before negotiations as proof-positive of bad faith bargaining and intent to provoke a walkout and lockout like 2002," Watson said.      "This is classic union-busting and the intimidation is familiar," he added.
     "Our members were not only disappointed by this year's meager contract offer, but were further dismayed to learn that while they were voting on July 14, a crew of expensive, professional strikebreakers were ordered to start operating buses," Watson noted.
     "That's illegal and we have filed federal charges," Watson added. (Photos and video above.)
     The employees voted in January to authorize a strike at any time and the July 14 vote reaffirmed that authorization.
     "We still want to negotiate a fair contract," Watson said, "but we certainly won't play Texas Hold'em with our members' livelihoods. We will not stand for stretching out the process over a year as MV Transportation did five years ago,"he added.
     "The time to get serious is upon us and serious actions must be and will be initiated," he stated.
RTC contractor MV Transportation of Texas has agreed to return to the bargaining table on July 26. They will be represented for the first time by their chief operating officer.
     "As always, we would prefer to negotiate directly with the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County which is comprised of five Reno, Sparks and Washoe County elected officials," Watson added.
     "Washoe County is now a boomtown expanding on all fronts and the transportation system is not keeping up. RTC instead spends money on PR such as simulated news segments which are actually paid commercials inserted into local TV news broadcasts," Watson asserted.
     The Regional Transportation Commission is comprised of Reno City Councilmembers Neoma Jardon and Paul McKenzie; Washoe County Commissioners Marsha Berkbigler and Bob Lucey and Sparks City Councilmember Ron Smith. Easily used contact info for all of them is available at NevadaLabor.com/
     The Teamsters Union represents 187 workers in this bargaining group, including drivers, dispatchers, mechanics, maintenance and support workers. Not all are union members but they are represented by and covered under the Teamsters contract according to law. MV has run the system since 2011.
     "We have been down this road many times before," Watson said.
     "It's much worse now. We have new drivers living in weekly motels because their starting wages are so low," he added. "That's why two of three new-hires quit. This mismanagement has resulted in wasting well over a quarter-million taxpayer dollars in just the past three years," he noted. [3]
     "One of the major contract sticking points is the onerous two-tiered wage system which creates second-class employees," Watson said.
     Senior drivers earn about $21 per hour plus benefits including health care. MV wants to keep second-tier employees at the bare minimum allowed by the endangered Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) which workers can't afford for themselves, let alone their families. Their only health care may be the emergency room which costs the most taxpayer money.
     New drivers earn only minimum wage during training and start at $12 per hour.
     "That's basically minimum wage adjusted for inflation from its 1968 peak," Watson said. [4]
     "Our members' wages and benefits have yet to fully recover from the recession," Watson said.
     "For decades, RTC has retained out-of-state or foreign-owned management companies to squeeze local workers.
     "In the past, RTC has even hired staff duplicating and overlapping the contractor's purview and has paid bonuses even when none was merited by for-profit, non-Nevada management corporations. This is textbook government waste," Watson said.
     "Out-of-state corporations and local officials should not make local transit users face this kind of uncertainty every two or three years, but they continue to do so," Watson added.
     Teamsters Local 533 has represented RTC bus system and RTC Access paratransit drivers and support personnel for more than a quarter-century. Chartered in northern Nevada in 1934, the union averages about 2,000 members in a variety of businesses and government agencies throughout northern Nevada, eastern California and the Tahoe basin. The union has been active in northern Nevada since at least since 1919 when Teamsters Local 595 represented workers.
     The history of the RTC/Teamsters relationship, including the 2002 strike/lockout, may be accessed via NevadaLabor.com/
__________
[1] https://www.rtcwashoe.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Item-5.2-Executive-Director-Performance-Evaluation.pdf and http://TransparentNevada.com/
[2] "Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U (all urban consumers for the western U.S.) rose 2.5 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices increased 3.8 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.7 percent over the year. (See table 1.)" — U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Western Information Office, June 2017.
     https://www.bls.gov/regions/west/news-release/consumerpriceindex_west.htm (not seasonally adjusted)
[3] Of 173 hired over the past three years, only 59 remain. Training costs $2,500 per worker. Thus, $2,500 x 114 former trainees = $ 285,000.00.
[4] $1.60 in 1968 becomes $11.28 as of June 2017, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator.

The Ides of July 2017
Texas Hold'em—>RTC Washoe transit system workers overwhelmingly reject contract offer, strike authorized
Strikebreakers on the streets of Reno-Sparks without a strike
Charges of illegal unfair labor practices filed with federal authorities

RENO, NEV. (15 July 2017) — Workers at the Reno-Sparks-Washoe County regional transportation system overwhelmingly rejected a contract proposal from the Texas management company contracted to run the service.

"Our members were not only disappointed by the meager contract offer, but were further dismayed to learn that while they were voting on July 14, a crew of expensive, professional strikebreakers were ordered to start operating buses," according to Teamsters Union Local 533 President Gary Watson.

"That's illegal and we have filed federal charges," Watson added. (Photo and video above.)

The employees voted in January to authorize a strike at any time and the July 14 vote reaffirmed that authorization.

"We still want to negotiate a fair contract," Watson said, "but we certainly won't play Texas Hold'em with our members' livelihoods. We will not stand for stretching out the process over a year as MV Transportation did five years ago," he added.

"The time to get serious is upon us and serious actions must be and will be initiated," he stated.

Texas-based MV has agreed to return to the bargaining table on July 26. They will be represented for the first time by their chief operating officer.

"As always, we would prefer to negotiate directly with the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC) which is comprised of five Reno, Sparks and Washoe County elected officials," Watson added.

"As an act of good faith, MV should first send the strikebreakers back from whence they came rather than pay them for not working or working illegally with our taxpayer money," Watson said.

The Teamsters Union represents 187 workers in this bargaining group, including drivers, dispatchers, mechanics, maintenance and support workers. Not all are union members but they are represented by and covered under the Teamsters contract according to law. MV has run the system since 2011.

"We have been down this road many times before," Watson said.

"It's much worse now. We have new drivers living in weekly motels because their starting wages are so low," he added. "That's why two of three new-hires quit. This mismanagement has resulted in wasting well over a quarter-million taxpayer dollars in just the past three years," he noted. [1]

"One of the major contract sticking points is the onerous two-tiered wage system which creates second-class employees," Watson said.

Senior drivers earn about $21 per hour plus benefits including health care. MV wants to keep second-tier employees at the bare minimum allowed by the endangered Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) which workers can't afford for themselves, let alone their families. Their only health care may be the emergency room which costs the most taxpayer money.

New drivers earn only minimum wage during training and start at $12 per hour.

"That's basically minimum wage adjusted for inflation from its 1968 peak," Watson said. [2]

"Our members' wages and benefits have yet to fully recover from the recession," Watson said.

"For decades, RTC has retained out-of-state or foreign-owned management companies to squeeze local workers.

"In the past, RTC has even hired staff duplicating and overlapping the contractor's purview and has paid bonuses to the for-profit corporation even when none was merited. This is textbook government waste," Watson said.

"Non-Nevada corporations and local officials should not make local transit users face this kind of uncertainty every two or three years, but they continue to do so," Watson added.

"A foreign-owned former management company precipitated a major strike then ordered an employee lockout in 2002 and we have come close to striking several times since," Watson stated.

"Following in their footsteps. during its first year on the job in 2012, MV brought in and housed paid strikebreakers without RTC permission. We never came close to a strike but despite our protests, the commission nonetheless retroactively paid all the unauthorized strikebreaker expenses which should have been borne by the contractor.

"All these mis-managed millions paid over the years could have been put to better use improving transportation. Our members hear constant complaints from senior citizens, students, low-wage workers, the sick and disabled about inadequate or out-of-reach service.

"Washoe County is now a boomtown expanding on all fronts and the transportation system is not keeping up. RTC instead spends money on PR such as simulated news segments which are actually paid commercials inserted into local TV news broadcasts," Watson asserted.

The Regional Transportation Commission is comprised of Reno City Councilmembers Neoma Jardon and Paul McKenzie; Washoe County Commissioners Marsha Berkbigler and Bob Lucey and Sparks City Councilmember Ron Smith. Easily used contact info for all of them is available at NevadaLabor.com/

Teamsters Local 533 has represented RTC bus system and RTC Access paratransit drivers and support personnel for more than a quarter-century. Chartered in northern Nevada in 1934, the union averages about 2,000 members in a variety of businesses and government agencies throughout northern Nevada, eastern California and the Tahoe basin.

The history of the RTC/Teamsters relationship, including the 2002 strike/lockout, may be accessed via NevadaLabor.com/
__________
[1] Of 173 hired in the past three years, only 59 remain. Training costs $2,500 per worker. Thus, $2,500 x 114 former trainees = $ 285,000.00.

[2] $1.60 in 1968 becomes $11.28 as of June 2017. However, the CPI of today has had food and housing costs removed because they are "too volatile." Understating actual inflation has been a hallmark of Washington for decades.

UPDATE: RTC contractor MV Transportation of Texas has agreed to return to the bargaining table on July 26. They will be represented for the first time by their chief operating officer. STAY TUNED.

 

Union busters in town to disrupt Reno-Sparks-Washoe bus system
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Special Online Edition 7-13-2017 / Updated 7-14, 7-15, 7-16, 7-20 and 7-26-2017

 

Listening in: Teamsters Union and Regional Transportation Commission fight over audio recorders
KRNV TV-4 / 3-7-2016

 

Teamsters OK new contract with Reno-Sparks-Washoe transit system

September 23, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
ANDREW BARBANO / U-News
NevadaLabor.com
(775) 786-1455

RENO, Nev. Sept. 23 (U-News) — Members of Teamsters Union Local 533 today ratified a new three-year agreement with Texas-based MV Transportation, the contractor employing workers operating the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County transit system.

In secret balloting on August 10, members voted down the previous contract offer from the company.

The earlier two-year contract expired on June 30. The new three-year deal is retroactive to July 1 and includes substantial improvements to employee wages and benefits.

There were no work stoppages. Unlike the August referendum which required members to show up and vote on a single day, workers were able to vote by mail. The secret ballots were opened and counted today.

Local 533 has represented RTC bus system and RTC Access paratransit drivers and support personnel for a quarter-century. The contract covers drivers, mechanics and dispatchers employed by MV Transportation, a third party hired by the elected regional transportation board which is comprised of elected members of the Reno and Sparks city councils and the Washoe County Commission.

Chartered in northern Nevada in 1934, Teamsters Local 533 averages about 2,000 members in a variety of businesses and government agencies throughout northern Nevada, eastern California and the Tahoe basin.

The history of negotiations with RTC representatives and the union may be accessed via NevadaLabor.com/

-30-

September 5, 2014

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
ANDREW BARBANO / U-News
NevadaLabor.com
(775) 786-1455

Teamsters reach new tentative agreement with transit contractor

RENO, Nev. Sept. 5 (U-News) — Negotiators from Teamsters Union Local 533 and Texas-based MV Transportation this afternoon reached a new tentative agreement for workers operating the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County transit system.

In secret balloting on August 10, members voted down the previous contract offer from the company.

The earlier two-year contract expired on June 30. The contractor and the union agreed to an extension and had reached a tentative contract at deadline on July 31.

A federal mediator has been involved. There have been no work stoppages. The union negotiating team is recommending ratification of the new proposal. Unlike the August referendum which required members to show up and vote on a single day, workers will be able to vote by mail. The secret ballots will be printed and sent later this month.

"This will make it more convenient for more union members to vote on their contract," Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson stated. Watson and Teamsters Secretary-Treasurer Debbie Calkins again led the union negotiating team.

Local 533 has represented RTC bus system and RTC Access paratransit drivers and support personnel for a quarter-century. The current negotiations involved drivers, mechanics and dispatchers employed by MV Transportation, a third party hired by the elected regional transportation board which is comprised of elected members of the Reno and Sparks city councils and the Washoe County Commission.

Chartered in northern Nevada in 1934, Teamsters Local 533 averages about 2,000 members in a variety of businesses and government agencies throughout northern Nevada, eastern California and the Tahoe basin.

The history of negotiations with RTC representatives and the union, including past strike activity, may be accessed via NevadaLabor.com/


August 10, 2014
4:33 p.m. PDT

TEAMSTERS VOTE DOWN CONTRACT WITH TRANSIT CONTRACTOR

RENO, Nev. Aug. 10 (U-News) — Members of Teamsters Union Local 533 this afternoon voted down a contract offer from MV Transportation, the Texas-based contractor paid to manage the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County transit system.

The previous two-year contract expired on June 30. The contractor and the union agreed to an extension and reached a tentative contract at deadline on July 31.

A federal mediator has been involved and may call a cooling off period as early as Monday. Union members will report to work as scheduled.

Local 533 has represented RTC bus system and RTC Access paratransit drivers and support personnel for a quarter-century. The current negotiations involve drivers, mechanics and dispatchers employed by MV Transportation, a third party hired by the elected Regional Transportation Board which is comprised of elected members of the Reno and Sparks city councils and the Washoe County Commission.

Chartered in northern Nevada in 1934, Teamsters Local 533 averages about 2,000 members in a variety of businesses and government agencies throughout northern Nevada, eastern California and the Tahoe basin.

The history of negotiations with RTC representatives and the union, including past strike activity, may be accessed via NevadaLabor.com/

CWA 9413/AFL-CIO

-30-

 

Déjà vu all over again?
Hot August Strike 8-5-2002 — Union strikers display a personal message to RTC Transit Manager Mike Steele. Stay tuned for déjà vu all over again.

8-1-2014 — A tentative agreement has been reached with the operators of the Reno-Sparks-Washoe transit system and Teamsters Local 533. Members will take a ratification vote on August 10.

JUNE 30 UPDATE: Current contract extended through July 31, 2014.

6-29-2014 Update: Strike authorization passed overwhelmingly.

27 June 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
Debbie Calkins, Local 533 Secretary-Treasurer (775) 348-6060 ext. 18
Gary Watson, Local 533 President (775) 348-6060 ext. 14

Teamsters contract with Washoe transit system expires June 30, extension possible
Strike authorization vote set for Sunday, June 29

RENO, Nev. — Teamsters Local 533 today responded to several media requests for a statement regarding negotiations with MV Transportation, the Texas-based contractor that manages the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County transit system.

"Our current two-year contract expires on Monday, June 30," stated Local 533 President Gary Watson, the union's lead negotiator.

"Contract talks between the company and the union have been making progress, although too much remains to finalize an agreement by midnight on Monday," he added.

"We expect to mutually agree to an extension and to conclude negotiations soon. As a normal part of the process, the union membership will vote on strike authorization this Sunday, June 29. This does not initiate a strike. It does empower the union leadership to call a work stoppage at any time beginning on July 1," Watson stated.

Local 533 has represented RTC bus system and RTC Access paratransit drivers and support personnel for a quarter-century.

Chartered in northern Nevada in 1934, Teamsters Local 533 averages about 2,000 members in a variety of businesses and government agencies throughout northern Nevada, eastern California and the Tahoe basin.

The history of negotiations with RTC representatives and the union, including past strike activity, may be accessed via NevadaLabor.com/

JUNE 30 UPDATE: Current contract extended through July 31, 2014.
6-29-2014 Update: Strike authorization passed overwhelmingly.



NevadaLabor.com/TEAMSTERS LOCAL 533 ARCHIVES

Teamsters 2014-2016 ARCHIVE

Teamsters 2011-2013 ARCHIVE

Teamsters 2010

Teamsters 2009

2008-09 Teamsters RTC/Ride negotiations
Links to 16-year Teamsters 533 news-photo-strike archives starting with the 1997 UPS strike

Teamsters 2008

Teamsters 2006

Teamsters 2005

Teamsters 2004 Strike Archive

 

 

 

 

Strike '04

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