Strike threat looms in anticipation of Sun Tran, Labor Union contract renewal
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The threat of a bus strike looms again in Tucson, as talks continue between Sun Tran bus drivers and management over a new contract.
The dangers bus drivers face, the risk on the road and their paycheck are all items that are up for negotiation.
But while bus drivers worry about their pay, many bus riders are wondering how they'll get around town.
Sun Tran officials have provided the Teamsters Local Union with a final offer, and union members will vote on it during three meetings scheduled to take place on Saturday, Aug 1.
The two sides agreed on Friday afternoon to extend the current contract through next Wednesday.
The contract was set to expire at midnight on Friday night, frustrating many bus riders still faced with uncertainty.
For many riders, the city bus is their only way to get around town.
Many don't have cars or have suspended drivers licenses and use the bus to get to and from work, or to doctor's appointments.
"This is not good, this is not good at all. I'm very frustrated because we always wait till the last minute what's with that? Can't we do this smart? I don't understand," said frustrated bus rider Jim Thomas.
Karen Scott who rides the bus several times a day agreed.
"I'm upset. I got a lot of things going on in my life that are stressful and this just adds to that, and this is supposed to be for the people of Tucson. This is a service. A transportation service," Scott said.
Sun Tran officials said the bus would run as scheduled until next Wednesday's new midnight deadline.
Sun Tran has been on strike three times in the last twenty years. The last time was in 2010.
That strike lasted for five days.
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