Photos: Phoenix-area bus riders hit by driver union strike

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by 3TV and Associated Press

Video reports by Carina Sonn and Tess Rafols

Posted on March 11, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 12 at 7:13 AM

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- As the second day of the Valley's bus strike comes to an end, officials urge passengers to avoid the buses altogether on Monday.

Drivers from Phoenix and Tempe remain on strike against Veolia Transportation Services.

About 600 drivers with the Amalgamated Transit Union local 1433 serving 31 of 46 routes in Phoenix walked off their jobs just after midnight Saturday.

They were joined Saturday evening by about 300 drivers working for Veolia and covering 19 routes in that city.

While most routes were operational over the weekend, wait times varied from 40 minutes to 3 hours.

Monday is expected to be worse as officials ask that regular bus passenger look for another mode of transportation until the strike is resolved.

Meanwhile, Veolia Transportation and Local ATU 1433 representatives are set to meet on Tuesday to try and iron out a deal -- talks weren't scheduled for another 2 weeks.

Drivers have been without a contract for nearly two years. The talks broke down over wage and benefit terms such as sick-leave accrual, retirement benefits and health care coverage.  

Veolia/Phoenix routes can be seen at http://www.phoenix.gov/publictransit/wsRoutesPhxcontractor.pdf/

Passenger Information: Bus schedules on line at ValleyMetro.org or by calling Valley Metro customer service at (602) 253-5000 during business hours.

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