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