Phoenix bus-driver union planning strike Saturday

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by Associated Press

Video report by Steve Ryan

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Updated Saturday, Mar 10 at 6:46 AM

PHOENIX (AP) -- The union representing more than 600 Phoenix bus drivers says it plans to go on strike early Saturday after labor talks broke down.

Veolia Transportation Services and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433 met again Friday to try to end a nearly two-year dispute over wage and benefit terms such as sick-leave accrual, retirement benefits and health care coverage.

Veolia negotiator Thomas Hock says there's a contract offer on the table that includes raises over five years.

The company also has been in talks with Tempe bus drivers, who will meet Saturday to vote on a contract offer.

A strike wouldn't completely stop Phoenix bus service. Veolia is required to provide at least 60 percent of normal service levels, equivalent to a Sunday level of service.

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