Loudoun County Transit/Veolia Dispute Intensifies

Mar 01, 2011, 16:36 ET from International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Company Flies in Out-of-State Workers

PURCELLVILLE, Va., March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rather than negotiate a fair contract with its existing experienced drivers, Veolia Transportation Company, a French multi-national corporation which operates Loudoun County Transit, seems intent on forcing a labor dispute. Yesterday, the company flew in dozens of out of state workers and is putting them up in a hotel. County buses were used to pick up the out of state workers from Dulles airport and take them to the hotel.

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"It's shameful that this company will spend thousands of dollars to fly in these workers and put them up in a hotel, but they won't provide current employees with a fair contract," said Sean Cedenio, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 570. "We just want a resolution to this dispute as quickly as possible so there is no service disruption for D.C. commuters."

Veolia's drivers at Loudoun County Transit are represented by Teamsters Local 570 and provide daily commuter service for hundreds of Virginia residents. The union called for assistance from a Federal Mediator on Tuesday to assist in negotiations. Drivers have been involved in contract negotiations with Veolia since November of 2009. The current contract extension expires at midnight on Thursday.

The 78 drivers and mechanics have been frustrated by the company's delaying tactics and refusal to reach a fair deal.  Many of the drivers, together with community leaders, marched on their management  Feb. 16 to present a petition requesting a fair contract.

"Veolia works because we do, and we deserve a fair deal. Without us, Veolia couldn't provide the service so many commuters rely on everyday," said driver Loriann Perkins. "We know the routes, the passengers, and we have all the proper certifications."  

"Our drivers know the routes and the passengers, and deliver safe and on-time service," said Cedenio. "The fact that Loudoun County is paying taxpayer money to this Company which in turn is bringing in and training out-of-state workers is despicable."  

Negotiations stalled in December of 2009, and federal mediators were called in to assist the

parties in agreeing to an extension so that service would continue without interruption.

Currently, drivers are seeking a return to their 2009 pay scale with moderate increases. Veolia's contract with Loudoun County has raises built in every year. Veolia is part of a French multi-national conglomerate with operations throughout the U.S. and Canada, and Loudoun County Transit is one of its many North American contracts.

The Teamsters represent thousands of Veolia members at all three of the company's North American subsidiaries. Veolia derives over $1 billion in revenue from its U.S. operations and more than $7.6 billion worldwide, positioning itself as one of the most profitable transportation conglomerates in the world.  

Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters