Las Vegas Bus Drivers Threaten Strike, May Impact Super Bowl Week

Posted on: January 29, 2024, 10:03h. 

Last updated on: February 3, 2024, 12:59h.

Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Southern Nevada bus drivers and mechanics have authorized a strike, as negotiations continue in an effort to reach a deal.

An Amalgamated Transit Union member votes
An Amalgamated Transit Union member votes on a contract proposal. The union rejected the offer and Las Vegas bus drivers are threatening a strike. (Image: KTNV)

During votes on Thursday and Friday, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1637 overwhelmingly rejected the latest offer from Transdev, the firm that operates the RTC public bus service.

The union said its members rejected the proposal by a 597 to six vote. Workers want higher salaries and improved safety.

For drivers and mechanics: no pay raise, no pay increase until next year, after they’ve been here for a year,” Dennis Hennessey, a bus driver and ATU member, explained to Las Vegas TV station KTNV. “And it’s a two percent across-the-board raise. For those of us drivers that are at the top of the pay scale, it’s an 11-cent-an-hour raise — which is nothing.”

Hundreds of union members could walk off the job in the days leading up to and including  Super Bowl 58. The big game is being played in Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium on February 11.

Drivers know a strike would impact the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to attend the Super Bowl and related events.

Sure would be tough if we were on strike for people to move around this town for Super Bowl since they’re not letting cabs, Uber or Lyft go anywhere near Allegiant Stadium,” Hennessey said. “Sure would be tough to have empty buses sitting and nobody getting on those buses.”

Hennessy added that management couldn’t find sufficient replacement drivers if there is a strike, Las Vegas TV station KVVU reported.

Drivers Punched, Assaulted, Spit On

Beyond salary, bus drivers are also concerned about worker safety. Seventeen acts of violence took place on RTC buses between March and September of 2023.

“We’ve got drivers out there being spit on, punched, assaulted — driver had a gunshot at his window last week — only to have the RTC do nothing effective,” Hennessey told KTNV.

In a statement, Transdev spokesperson Bill Marion said union members already were given a “significant wage increase” last summer. Management and the union then agreed on a temporary pact to provide “over $6 million in annual investment and guaranteeing raises of at least 8%.”

“The negotiation process has been productive, professional, and conducted in good faith by all parties. Transdev remains hopeful for a swift resolution alongside our partners at the ATU,” the statement added.

Strike Would Be Illegal

As of a few days ago, Transdev had yet to get a formal strike notification from the union. The union has to provide a 30-day written notice to hold a legal strike, the company said.

Both parties are operating under a valid agreement, so any violation of this agreement would be an unlawful act,” Transdev said in the statement. “It is Transdev’s expectation that the ATU will honor the agreement and deliver uninterrupted service to the public. We remain committed to providing safe and reliable service to our community.”

The Culinary Union has also threatened to go out on strike on February 2 if settlements aren’t reached between Las Vegas properties and hospitality workers still trying to reach agreements.