Officials say Bakersfield bus strike coming Tuesday

Officials say Bakersfield bus strike coming Tuesday »Play Video
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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - Both union and local transit officials say bus commuters should expect a labor strike this week.

Teamsters Local Union No. 517 negotiated through the weekend with Golden Empire Transit District, which provides bus service in Bakersfield.

The union and GET spokeswoman Gina Hayden said Monday morning that the sides couldn't come to a resolution as the union's current deal comes to an end.

The strike of drivers and mechanics is expected to begin just after midnight Tuesday.

The Teamsters said the member vote to strike was 119-11. That vote took place July 6, though the sides continued negotiations.

The union said the sticking points are wages and part-time statuses for more than half of the GET drivers.

The part-time classified drivers don't necessarily work part-time hours, but their pay and benefits are far inferior, according to the Teamsters.

The union also complains that full-time drivers are paid less than their counterparts in similar cities. The union said it's asking for a 4 percent pay increase each year of a three-year contract.

GET last week, in anticipation of a strike, said it will endeavor to provide curb-to-curb service to customers who are dependent on transportation for serious medical needs.

Fixed route services will be suspended.

The level of service provided in the coming days will depend on the number of employees reporting for work, GET said.

GET said it will offer work to any employee who reports on Tuesday.

"We know this poses considerable difficulty for our customers," GET officials wrote in a news release Monday. "It is our hope that we will be able to reconvene discussions with the union and any cessation of service will be very brief."