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For the Sake of Loudoun County Riders, Loudoun County Transit Workers Return to Work, Still Demand Keolis Negotiate a Fair Contract

Petition Signed by Workers Rejected Keolis’ Subpar Contract Offer

Silver Spring, MD – For the sake of Loudoun County Transit riders, ATU Local 689 Loudoun County transit workers are returning to work after nine weeks on strike but continue their demand that Keolis come to the table with a fair and just contract offer.  

“We care, but Keolis doesn’t. Our riders have been suffering enough, and we want to go back to work,” said Local 689 President/Business Agent Raymond Jackson. “This doesn’t mean that we’re accepting Keolis’ subpar contract offer, which our members rejected by signing a petition refusing to even vote on it. Our frontline hero members deserve parity with other transit workers throughout the Washington, DC, region, and we will stand for nothing less. However, we simply want to get back to the job our members love, providing bus service that our valued Loudoun County residents depend on.” 

Among the basic demands of workers are adequate health insurance, guaranteed retirement contributions by Keolis, fair and judicious use of drive cameras to monitor our work, wage parity with our peers throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area, a single wage scale for all CDL employees, vacation allotments, and a guaranteed 40-hour work week for all full-time employees.

“Our members’ action and solidarity resulted in Keolis giving us wage increases, a boost in 401(k) contributions, and a reduction in our members’ health care costs, but it’s not enough. There are many issues that need to be resolved for the sake of our members,” said ATU International President John Costa. “We have always been prepared to sit down with Keolis until we have an agreement. So far, Keolis has not been willing to do that. Now that our members have agreed to go back to work, it’s time for Keolis to engage in good-faith bargaining and finally resolve this dispute for everyone involved. I am so proud of what our members have accomplished so far. We will not give up until they get what they deserve.”

The more than 140 fixed route and commuter bus operators, mechanics, paratransit drivers, dispatchers, and other transit workers employed by private contractor Keolis, went on strike on January 11. The strike also includes transit workers that will help connect commuters to the new Silver Line Phase II stations in Loudon County.

In April 2021, Keolis first took over the operation of the county’s transit service. Keolis unilaterally slashed benefits like retirement and health insurance and began to impose a number of cuts on the workforce, such as a weekly guarantee of work hours. In April of 2022, Loudoun County Transit workers voted 95% in favor of unionizing again.

Since then, Keolis has been delaying progress at the bargaining table by violating federal labor law at a staggering pace, with the National Labor Relations Board having found merit to at least 47 different Unfair Labor Practice Charges (ULPs) against Keolis. Since then, Keolis has settled ULPs with Local 689 rather than go to a hearing over their ongoing illegal treatment and intimidation of their workers prior to their strike.