No Asheville transit strike, union accepts contract

There will be no strike in the Asheville transit system, as the local bus drivers’ union decided today to accept a contract from management company First Transit, according to a source within the union.

The current contract with First Transit was extended to Sept. 30 as negotiations with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 128 continued. A local activist reported last weekend that the drivers were on the verge of striking due to complaints about working more hours with reduced pay. However, that assertion was not confirmed by local union officials, who have remained silent on the issue. The union met today and, according to a source within its ranks, voted to accept a new contract.

The city hired the Cincinatti, Ohio-based company in 2008. Due to a conflict between state laws forbidding a municipality from negotiating with a union and federal laws forbidding the city from breaking a union, the city of Asheville pays First Transit $130,000 a year to deal with the union on its behalf.

— David Forbes, senior news reporter


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4 thoughts on “No Asheville transit strike, union accepts contract

  1. First Transit is now a subsidiary of British-owned FirstGroup, one the world’s largest transit corporations (see I wonder if that state law was really intended to ship $130,000 of our tax dollars per year to an overseas conglomerate.

  2. olwen

    Since First Transit (as part of First America)employs almost 20,000 Americans and manages another 7,000 more Americans, that $130,000 is assuredly not going to some overseas conglomerate.

  3. Politics Watcher

    I understand (and can find on the Internet) the North Carolina Right-to-Work Law. Could you please cite the specific “federal laws forbidding the city from breaking a union” which are applicable in this case. Is the city prohibited by law from hiring non-union workers to drive city-owned buses? Perhaps a labor lawyer can explain.

  4. maggie1

    sad the State-of-Union affairs in North Carolina. What will it take to get unions in the south?

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