Media Center

Mar 1

Capital Metro workers overwhelmingly ratify contract

Union wins wage increases, improved healthcare, and unites fixed route Capital Metro workers under one contract

Austin, TX – With an historic voter turnout and by a margin of 94% to 6%, ATU Local 1091-Austin, TX, members today overwhelmingly ratified a new contract with private contractor MV Transportation. The contract covers 900 fixed route bus operators and maintenance workers at Capital Metro and marks the first time in more than a decade that workers at the North and South facilities share a contract.

The new collective bargaining agreement improves healthcare coverage, increases wages 8.5% on average, and eliminates disparities between the North and South that led to Cap Metro workers doing equal work for unequal pay.

“We are happy to report historic participation in this ratification vote and an overwhelming vote in favor of our tentative agreement with MV,” said Local President Brent Payne. “I am proud of our members. They came together from two different bus depots – where they had been pitted against each other for years – and made their union and Capital Metro stronger.”

Capital Metro formerly used two different private contractors – MV Transportation and French multinational RATP Dev – which led to workers being paid at different wage rates and subjected to disparate work rules. In August 2019, Capital Metro’s board of directors awarded a single contract to MV Transportation to consolidate bus operations and maintenance services for the entire system. That move required the company and the union to negotiate a unified contract for the first time.

The Local began joint negotiations with MV in August, but the contract talks stalled over the past few months. Frustrated with MV’s stall tactics at the bargaining table, Capital Metro bus drivers donned wristbands and wore black makeup or a black sticker under their eyes last week in a symbolic “Black Eye” protest. They also planned to pack an upcoming Capital Metro board meeting to demand the agency force its contractor to negotiate fairly, and the union had begun discussing authorizing a strike. Just 72 hours before the board meeting, the two sides reached a tentative agreement.

“Once again, ATU workers organized together to secure a better contract, one that respects the work we do and our commitment to our jobs and the communities we serve,” said ATU International President John Costa. “This victory shows the power, unity and solidarity of the ATU and proves yet again that ‘Together We Fight, Together We Win.’”