Bus drivers' strike ends with 3-year agreement - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Bus drivers' strike ends with 3-year agreement

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A four-day bus strike affecting bus riders in the east valley has ended with a three-year agreement, according to union officials.

There's finally good news for the 57,000 bus riders who rely on bus service in several east valley cities.

The drivers authorized a strike on Thursday and since then, 40 routes were suspended.

All bus routes will resume Monday.

The union and First Transit, which operates buses for Valley Metro, negotiated through Saturday night and came up with a deal late Sunday afternoon.

"It's been a big inconvenience," said Michael Andrews.

For the past four days, thousands of Valley Metro riders were stranded with no way around town.

They were without about 40 bus routes, mainly in the east valley, while drivers went on strike.

"I don't like walking. I was very grateful for the buses when they had them," said Andrews.

But Sunday, some good news.

"I'm stoked. I don't gotta walk no more," said Andrews.

The union and First Transit, which operates buses for Valley Metro, came to a tentative new three-year deal.

The details of what's in that new deal are not being discussed until all the operators can review them, but the union and the bus company are confident this new deal will serve in everyone's best interest.

"I think the company compromised on something's and I think we compromised on some things and in the end, I think that it's an acceptable deal. Are we happy about everything? No,  obviously, but we're satisfied with the fact that we think our members are going to have the protections that we we're so passionate about getting," said Michael Cornelius, a ATU Local 1433 negotiator.

First Transit released this statement, in part:
"We are confident that this agreement serves the best interests of our Union employees, the riding public, Valley Metro, and First Transit. While we regret that a strike was not averted during the course of the negotiations, we appreciate that the ATU has shared our desire to resume transit service throughout the community as quickly as possible."

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