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Fairfax Connector Workers On Strike Today, Thursday, February 22!

Fed Up Workers Walk Off the Job Over Unfair Labor Practices, Stalled Bargaining by Contractor Transdev

Forestville, MD- ATU Local 689 announced starting today, Thursday, February 22, Fairfax Connector workers will go on strike against Fairfax Connector contractor Transdev over unfair labor practices. Local 689 represents approximately 638 Fairfax Connector bus operators and mechanics. Members have been working under an expired contract since December 2023. 

Local 689 and Transdev have been in contract negotiations for a new contract since October 2023. Despite twelve bargaining sessions, a vast divide between the Union and the company remains due to Transdev’s slow walking the talks and for the most part its refusal to engage in meaningful discussions on key economic issues.

The Union has taken extraordinary strides to avert a strike including consistently providing contract proposals that are fair to both sides and the public, involving a federal mediator directly in negotiations, and meeting with Fairfax County officials. However, because of Transdev’s unfair labor practices and regressive bargaining, as well as Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Jeff McKay’s refusal to weigh in, a strike was unavoidable.

The Union remains committed to bargaining in good faith to reach a tentative agreement on a new contract and intends to continue to meet with Transdev even while on strike. Several key priorities in a new contract for Local 689 include true retirement security, more sick days, competitive wages for bus operators and mechanics with regional transit companies, and balanced labor-management rights. 

Transdev’s latest contract proposal provided to the Union at the end of January ignored most of the Union’s key priorities but included what appeared to be competitive wage increases for bus operators. During the contract talks, the company impressed upon the Union that they were offering a good deal. However, Transdev deliberately failed to acknowledge that due to the high cost of living in Fairfax County and tax burden in the region, the wage increases alone are insufficient to ensure an improved quality of life for its employees. Local 689 insists on improved benefits for workers in order to ensure they can live where they work and that they can retire with dignity.