Orange County Transportation Authority workers strike for healthcare
Orange, CA – 150 Orange County Transportation Authority maintenance workers, represented by Teamsters Local 952, walked off the job on Wednesday, November 2 demanding that OCTA increase healthcare allowances and negotiate in good faith.
OCTA walked away from the table after months of negotiating, saying no to the Teamsters proposals to improve the healthcare plan. The maintenance workers pay on average $300 more per month for healthcare than any of their counterparts in OCTA. The Teamsters are not backing down, setting up 24/7 picket lines at the bus depots in Santa Ana, Anaheim, Garden Grove and Irvine.
Buses across the county cannot run without the maintenance workers, leaving the 100,000 daily riders wondering how they will get to work and school. Luis Aleman from the Orange County Labor Federation said OCTA is counting on the loss of bus services to break the workers, but that the workers are holding strong with widespread community support.
“We’ve seen community members coming out and supporting with food, with water, and showing up at the picket line to walk with us. Nobody said OCTA is on the right on this because everybody knows there's something fundamentally unfair about a governmental entity the size of OCTA, with their budget, saying we can’t afford, or we don’t want to pay workers the healthcare they deserve,” said Aleman.
OCTA is expected to return to the negotiating table due to the combined pressure from the strike and community support.