RTC contractor Keolis bad for workers, riders and community


Mike Pilcher

This opinion column was submitted by Mike Pilcher, a retired Reno firefighter and battalion chief and president of the Northern Nevada Central Labor Council; and Gary Watson, president of Teamsters Union Local 533.

It shouldn’t have to come down to this.

A strike is the workers’ last resort to protect the value and dignity of their work. When one occurs, it’s because workers have been pushed to their limit.

If one were to occur locally, it would be provoked by the gross mismanagement of Washoe’s Regional Transportation System by allowing its contractor Keolis NA, LLC to cripple the transit system and its employees — real people who live and breathe in our community — for the sake of corporate profits.

As you may have read recently, our local public bus operators are “employed” by Keolis, a French corporation registered in Delaware. Washoe County’s Regional Transportation Commission contracts out our region’s bus service to Keolis. The elected representation for coach operators, dispatchers, road supervisors, technicians and utility workers — their voice in the workplace — is Teamsters Local 533.

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