RTD, Drivers’ Union Reach Tentative Pact

The Rapid Transit District and the United Transportation Union, which represents nearly 5,000 bus drivers and rail line operators, have reached a tentative contract agreement, it was announced Thursday in Los Angeles.

Terms of the three-year pact were withheld pending ratification by both the RTD board of directors and UTU membership. “It’s an extremely good package and will be overwhelmingly ratified by our membership,” UTU President Earl Clark predicted.

Negotiations began in April, but reached an impasse June 25, when the UTU’s membership voted overwhelmingly to authorize the union’s first strike since 1982. Gov. Pete Wilson stepped in four days later and ordered a 60-day cooling-off period, delaying the threatened strike while the two sides tried to work out their differences with the help of state mediators.