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Union announces strike against Orange County Transportation Authority; bus service may be affected

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (KABC) — After leaving the bargaining table on Monday, the union representing maintenance workers at the Orange County Transportation Authority announced its intention to go on strike.

OCTA and Teamsters Local 952 met in hopes of resolving contract negotiations, primarily over wages and benefits.

Teamsters Local 952 Secretary-Treasurer Eric Jimenez released a statement on Wednesday regarding the planned strike, saying OCTA gave them “no other choice.”

“We did everything in our power to avoid a strike,” Jimenez said. “They even rejected our proposals that would save them money on members’ health care. But when OCTA left the table on Monday, they gave us no other choice.”

In a statement released by OCTA warning Orange County passengers of the potential strike, OCTA said it believed a strike was “unnecessary” and “unfairly affects bus passengers and more than 1 000 OCTA employees.

If the workers go ahead with a strike, it will force the stoppage of bus service.

“We have around 100,000 passengers a day, so these are people going to work, going to school, they have no other way to get around, really it’s their only transportation option,” said Joel Zlotnik, an OCTA. spokesperson. “It would be devastating, and it is unfortunate that the union, rather than wanting to keep talking, decided to strike.”

The 150 machinists, mechanics and service technicians provide a variety of services ranging from bus refueling to repairs.

OCTA said if a strike is called by the union, bus service would continue through Wednesday, but service would stop in Orange County beginning the morning of Thursday, November 3.

Bus passengers are advised to check for updates at: www.octa.net.

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