Updated on 5-28-2021 GMT

KTVN TV-2 trucks with The Terminator


Lives are on the line — the bus line
BUS CRASH: Washoe transit system managers and foreign-owned contractor contradict each other,
then lie to media about CDC virus safety compliance


GARY WATSON, President
Teamsters Union Local 533
(775) 348-6060 ext. 104

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

RENO, Nev. (Wednesday 3 Feb. 2021) — Washoe County mass transit system management today stands in complete disarray regarding COVID-19 safety.

"Public safety is now at increased risk," warned Teamsters Union Local 533 President Gary Watson.

Regional Transportation Commission management announced Tuesday (Feb. 2, 2021) that it would comply with the new Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 mandates then promptly reversed itself.

"Going without a mask on public transportation is now a federal crime," KTVN TV-2's John Potter reported.

However, the CDC will not enforce the order in the hope that companies will police themselves.

"That just opens the door to the likes of Boeing and meat packing plants. Self-regulation lets people die," Watson said.

KTVN's Potter reported that "As for here in Reno, Lauren Ball of the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County says this means 'Very minor changes to our policy. Masks are and have been required on transit since June.'

" 'We mandated masks as a company even before the governor's order. The governor really reinforced it for us which is great news,' Michael Ake, vice-president of operations for the managing company, Keolis Transit America," told Potter.

"That's a very clumsy rewrite of history," Watson asserted. "They have bragged of compliance to news media and wasted untold thousands in paid advertising, then prevented bus operators from enforcing the governor's orders for almost a year," he added.

KTVN's Potter on Tuesday asked "How will (drivers) react if a customer just refuses to wear (a mask)?...The RTC’s Lauren Ball says 'The transit driver will then call dispatch, then either a security guard will come or a road supervisor will come and either have you wear a mask or you can choose to leave the bus.' "

Watson expressed surprise. "RTC Washoe has refused to use its security staff to do anything, no matter how much we've asked," he noted. (KTVN TV-2, 16 Sept. 2020)

"Last year, Las Vegas implemented exactly what Ms. Ball just announced as new," Watson said.

"Locally, it has been a small issue, Ake told KTVN, ' Especially in our Reno operation, we've got a compliance of about 99.9% overall.' "

The latter statement is a demonstrably false," Watson said, adding "For almost a year, they have been running packed buses with many passengers going maskless. That's how our drivers have been sickened to near death. We've had about two dozen operators infected, two have been hospitalized in intensive care units and two in Las Vegas have been buried in the past two months.


From: Taquan Jackson
Sent: Monday, February 01, 2021 6:02 PM
To: Reno-Dispatch@Keolisna.com
Cc: <mailto:Reno-OPS-MODS@keolisna.com>Reno-OPS-MODS@keolisna.com; <mailto:Reno-Road-Supes@keolisna.com>Reno-Road-Supes@keolisna.com
Subject: CDC Guideline Update

Good afternoon team,

Effective 12:00AM (midnight), February 2, 2021 there will be a federal mandate for masks to be worn on public transportation. This is a requirement the local team and RTC have been encouraging and adhering to for some time now. Although the mandate was been escalated our operators are not to enforce this policy whatsoever. [EMPHASIS ADDED]

As a reminder please take the following necessary actions listed below regarding mask compliance.
·  Operator calls related to mask compliance need to be logged in by dispatch daily
·  Dispatch, contact security if an operator has a unsafe passenger at 4SS or CP
·  Encourage operators to offer patrons free mask to stay compliant
·  If an operator reports a passenger not wearing a mask and no threat is posed, encourage the operator to continue service and assure them a road supervisor will meet them in route or at layover [EMPHASIS ADDED]

[[TEAMSTERS NOTE: The latter is a fabrication and distraction. No one is available. Road supervisors are now all driving buses. And the above order allows maskless riders endangering themselves and others.]]

·  If a road supervisor responds to a mask compliance incident, it must be logged
Per the order, the following individuals are exempt from the mask-wearing requirement:
*  A child under the age of 2 years;
*  A person with a disability who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, be- cause of the disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act; [EMPHASIS ADDED]

[[TEAMSTERS NOTE: KEOLIS continues abusing the ADA. There is no instruction here on how to comply with the law, evidence that they do not (and have not had) any intention to enforce. In a conference call last week, RTC Washoe officials admitted they have allowed masklessness in fear of mask-based road rage. They did NOT assert the ADA at all.]]

*  A person for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty as determined by the relevant workplace safety guidelines or federal regulations.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact.
Taquan Jackson
Operations Manager, Reno Operations
Keolis Transit America
2050 Villanova Dr., Reno, NV 89502
Office: (775) 332-1058
Cell: (775) 772-0379


"Mr. Jackson has once again done what his Florida lawyers have advised: Hide behind the Americans with Disabilities Act as a loophole to avoid enforcement," Teamsters 533 President Watson said.

"Our members have been informed many, many times that they can be written up or fired for ordering passengers to wear masks. Keolis fired an African American woman in Los Angeles for telling a passenger to please wear a mask. The driver was recovering from recent breast cancer surgery and thus had a suppressed immune system due to chemotherapy. Her union appealed but Keolis management upheld her firing," Watson stated. (Links at NevadaLabor.com/)


"When the Teamsters have raised the mask mandate issue in Nevada, Keolis-19 and RTC have consistently asserted that it's illegal to inquire of someone's medical condition. Months ago, we suggested what they have now apparently announced as a new policy — then promptly reversed it. We will wait for them to demonstrate if they are serious," Watson said.

"All they have to do to comply with the ADA is tell passengers they must wear masks in order to board. If they assert medical conditions, they have volunteered that information rather than being asked for it which Keolis lawyers say is prohibited.

"The CDC order resulted in Tuesday's PR spin but the feds are toothless on enforcement," Watson said.

"The only thing that will get RTC/Keolis attention is huge cash fines which cannot be subsidized by taxpayer or rider revenue but rather must be charged against their fat fees or corporate profits," the longtime union leader demanded.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County is comprised of Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson, Washoe County Commissioners Vaughn Hartung and Bob Lucey; Reno City Councilmembers Oscar Delgado and Neoma Jardon, board chair. Mr. Delgado and his wife both tested positive for COVID-19 in December. He is currently CEO of the Community Health Alliance of Washoe County.

Supporting photos, documents, references and archives may be accessed at NevadaLabor.com/

Chartered in 1934, Teamsters Local 533 represents about 2,200 workers in various trades throughout northern Nevada and eastern California.


RTC: "We are world-class virus smiters" Teamsters: "And world-renowned liars"
By Kristen Hackbarth / This Is Reno 2-3-2021

Gary Watson interview on Adam Arrington's General Strike radio show
KWNK 97.7-fm / 13 Jan. 2021

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