Fairfax Connector workers’ union reaches agreement with Transdev that would end 2-week strike

The union representing Fairfax Connector bus operators and mechanics, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, said Tuesday night that it has reached an agreement with Transdev for a new contract.

The tentative agreement still needs to be approved by the rank and file. The deal would end the Fairfax Connector workers’ strike, which entered its 13th day Tuesday.

Transdev is a France-based, private company that operates public transport around the world. Tuesday’s session between the company and the union was the fourth in-person meeting since the strike began on Feb. 22.

ATU Local 689 said the deal secures “transformative improvements to the contract that would guarantee retirement security for members, include competitive wages for bus operators and mechanics, and enhance the 40-hour guarantee, among other key union priorities.”

The union said it will bring the tentative agreement to Fairfax Connector members for a ratification vote Wednesday and is optimistic that it will be approved. If that happens, buses could be running again Thursday, according to union spokesperson Matthew Girardi.

“We’re very proud. We negotiated hard, and our workers held the line throughout,” Girardi told WTOP.

The Fairfax Connector bus system typically carries about 26,000 passengers daily across 93 routes. Service has been suspended since the strike began.

“Being out on strike for two weeks is never fun for anybody,” Girardi said. “But nonetheless, our members held strong, they understood what was on the line here, and I guess — pun intended — they stayed on the line. They did the right thing.”

In a statement to WTOP, a Transdev spokesperson said the company is “pleased to share that ATU Local 689 and Transdev came to a mutually agreeable, tentative agreement on their collective bargaining agreement for employees for the Fairfax Connector Fixed-Route Bus Service.”

The company said it will immediately prioritize restoring full bus service as soon as possible.

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Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

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