Updated 12-2-2021 GMT

11-30-2021
St. Andrew's Day in Scotland & BarbwireLand
Be well. Raise hell. Stay safe. Ciao.

Happy High Holly Days to all
Merry Christmas/Kwanzaa/Solstice/Festivus/Chanukah/Thanksgibleting
Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad

HAPPY NEW YEAR / Feliz Año Nuevo
/ Felice Anno Nuovo
Frohe Weihnachten und beste Wuensche fuer 2022

Breaking News & Bulletins

Agreement ends Bus Strike 3
Did St. Andrew intervene?

I want my $10,000.00, dammit!
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 12-1-2021

Happy Thanksgibleting: Grueling gruel from the cruel
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 11-24-2021

 

Striking picketers fired on in Reno
4 of 6 hit with rock salt & BB-gun rounds
Bus strikers continue to refuse three-year pay cut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
GARY WATSON, President
Teamsters Union Local 533
(775) 348-6060 ext. 104

Links, recent archives & 3+ decades of Teamsters/RTC history at NevadaLabor.com

RENO, Nev. USA (November 19, 2021 / 17:24:22 PST) — Six Teamsters Union picketers were fired upon in downtown Reno at about 4:50 p.m. PST (00:50 GMT 11-20). Four were hit while marching in the proximity of the E. 4th Street bus terminal in the hotel/casino district. The shots were fired from a red pickup truck.

"I told my members to call 911 and immediately informed Reno Police Chief Jason Soto and Deputy Chief Tom Robinson," stated Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson.

"Even supposedly non-lethal rounds can do serious damage, especially to someone's eyes," Watson said.

Reno Police are on scene right now and the union has been informed that the pickup's rider(s) may be shooting at others in the downtown area.

The union went on strike a third time in four months when the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County's foreign contractor insisted on a non-negotiable below-inflation pay scale which would amount to a three-year pay cut.

BB found on site of picketers assault on November 19

Local 533 has represented Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County transit system employees since 1987. Chartered in 1934, Teamsters Local 533 represents about 2,200 workers in various trades throughout northern Nevada and eastern California, including about 200 RTC/Keolis workers. The three dozen-plus member unions of the Northern Nevada Central Labor Council/AFL-CIO voted for strike sanctions before the Hot August Strike. They supported the second work stoppage during "Striketober" and have done so again with Strike 3 now on the streets.

The United Labor Agency of Nevada has helped arrange a strike fund. Please send checks to United Labor Agency of Nevada, 1201 N. Decatur Blvd. Suite 106, Las Vegas, NV 89108; Attn: Teamsters Keolis Strike. OR...

HELP THE STRIKERS. PLEASE DONATE TO THE STRIKE FUND Online

Sign the FIRE KEOLIS petition

RTC Washoe Contact Information — Utilize frequently

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County is comprised of Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson (R), Washoe County Commissioners Vaughn Hartung (R) and Bob Lucey (R); Reno City Councilmembers Oscar Delgado (D) and Neoma Jardon, (R), board chair. RTC board e-mail <rtcpubliccomments@rtcwashoe.com>, bthomas@rtcwashoe.com (RTC Executive Director Bill Thomas),

HIGHLIGHT, COPY AND PASTE
delgadoo@reno.gov (Reno Councilmember Oscar Delgado-D),
vhartung@washoecounty.us (Washoe County Commissioner Vaughn Hartung-R),
jardonn@reno.gov (Reno Councilmember/RTC Chair Neoma Jardon-R),
elawson@cityofsparks.us (Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson-R),
blucey@washoecounty.us (County Commissioner Bob Lucey-R),
bthomas@rtcwashoe.com (RTC Executive Director Bill Thomas),
rtcpubliccomments@rtcwashoe.com (RTC board e-mail),

 

CWA 9413/AFL-CIO
Y11/19 ShotsFired/Strike3/Keolis-19/ibt/Unews/opsn21


-30-

 

Ghosts of Christmas past bite us on the ass
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 11-17-2021

Help rebuild Nevada's infrastrucure and create Nevada jobs
By Rob Benner / Building & Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada/AFL-CIO/ Reno Gazette-Journal op-ed 11-17-2021


Who said the special legislative session would be a bore?

BREAKING NEWS/THIS JUST IN

Sat, 13 Nov. 2021 19:18:26 PST / 03:18:26 GMT 14 November)
From: Robert Benner
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2021 19:18:16 -0800
Subject: Action Alert: Special Guests at Teamsters Picket TOMORROW!

Brothers and Sisters:

Join Nevada State AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Susie Martinez and allies of labor from the Nevada State Assembly (including Assemblymembers Bea Duran and Michelle Gorelow, both D-Clark County) on the Teamsters Local 533 picket line tomorrow at 9:00 AM! [UPDATE: LOOK WHO SHOWED UP.]

WHEN: Sunday, November 14 at 9:00 AM
WHERE: 4th Street Station (downtown) at 200 E. 4th Street, Reno, NV
WHY: Come stand in solidarity with Teamsters 533 as they carry on their fight for a fair contract!

Please bring masks and respect all COVID safety precautions.

In Solidarity,

Northern Nevada Central Labor Council

 

 

STRIKE 3

The bus strike's most important supporter

THE LEAST AMONG US SUPPORTING THE OPPRESSED — "Her name is Jo. She lives at the women's shelter and takes the bus to Record Street to eat. She has a heart condition that makes her legs swell so it is hard for her to walk. She is articulate and easy to talk to. She told me she takes the bus to go to her doctor. With the buses not running, she didn't know how she would get there." (Photo and caption by Teamsters Local 533 bus operator Mike Humes)

Bus system overlords go on strike
Why did RTC chickens cross the road? To avoid voters!
Regular RTC meeting cancelled while system collapses
Bus strikers continue to refuse three-year pay cut and call for executive director's resignation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
GARY WATSON, President
Teamsters Union Local 533
(775) 348-6060 ext. 104

Links, recent archives & 3+ decades of Teamsters/RTC history at NevadaLabor.com

RENO, Nev. USA (Friday November 12, 2021 GMT) — "Washoe County Regional Transportation Commissioners went on strike today, and not in a good way," objected Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson.

FIRE KEOLIS! —Teamsters Union members march on Reno City Hall (11-10-2021)

"If they had joined my union sisters and brothers on the downtown picket lines, I might be more forgiving," he added.

Without notice, the five elected officials who run the now-disabled RTCRide bus system cancelled their regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

"One would think with their system collapsing on their watch, they would want do some work," Watson said. "One would be wrong."

Watson has requested the daily calendars of the five commissioners from their respective local governments.

"They said they lacked a quorum for today, the only workday on what would otherwise be a cushy four-day weekend," Watson noted.

"Since when is a majority of the commission away from their smartphones or computers to log into Zoom? Are they camping?"

The RTC Washoe bus system is now in the fourth day of its third strike in four months. The workers walked out on Tuesday after Keolis Transit's last-best-final offer mandated wage levels three percent below the current inflation rate for the next three years. The only previous work stoppage occurred in 2002.

"This really shows how those elected officials really don't care. The system is cleverly engineered so it's always someone else's fault. The highly paid commissioners blame their highly paid staff who blame their highly profitable multl-national contractor which blames its own workers or government regulations. And all head for the bank on a four-day weekend save for the employees on the picket lines," the longtime labor leader added.

"There is one other thing that RTC Executive Director Bill Thomas <bthomas@rtcwashoe.com>, their France-based minion Keolis Transit and the commissioners are really good at: self congratulation.

"In an embarrassingly defensive press conference last Wednesday, Mr. Thomas asserted that Keolis is not in breach of its sweetheart contract. But Mr. Thomas himself removed all performance penalties and thus any standard of compliance," Watson said. 

The waivers saved Keolis hundreds of thousands of dollars which otherwise would have gone to the taxpayer-subsidized system.

"Keolis is obligated to staff a workforce of 176 drivers when in fact they are only staffing at 91 operators, which is why their transit system is failing. Is that not a lack of performance? He says he waived penalties to protect workers from having to work when sick. But when our members call in sick, Keolis writes them up for disciplinary proceedings. The right hand is not responsible for what the left hand is doing. Business as usual.

BUSINESS AS USUAL IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH: RESIGN


"In the best interest of workers, passengers and the public, Mr. Thomas should immediately submit his resignation. Combined with his unwavering support of his contractor and their union-busting agenda, Mr. Thomas' failed vision, direction and leadership have wounded and disabled a critically needed transportation system. We need mass transit that works for our community, not Mr. Thomas' buddies," Watson concluded.

"I will miss having Mr. Thomas as Keolis spokesperson," Watson stated, adding "he's more unclear on the concept than his contractor. 'Last-best-final offer' means just that. Mr. Thomas said in his press conference that the union should have come back with a counter-offer. We asked for their 'last-best-final,' they responded and we delivered our answer on picket signs. Mr. Thomas was correct to note that they were not willing to give any more, so what was there to counter? Does he think we can't do basic arithmetic?

"Mr. Thomas asserted that Keolis has not broken its contract when RTC's own annual report notes that ridership nosedived for the first eight months of Keolis' tenure starting in July, 2019 — fully eight months before the pandemic.

"They are obligated to build ridership, not destroy it," Watson said. "That's failure to perform.

"It’s frustrating but not surprising that although Mr. Thomas and his overseers always say that they must be hands-off and not part of the contract negotiations, Mr. Thomas still feels free to discuss the inner workings of the process that he has claimed to not be privy to. This has been exactly the problem all along. Whether it has been mask enforcement, unfair discipline or gross mismanagement, Mr. Thomas and elected officials have only seen things through the lens of Keolis and not through the eyes of their employees.

"His self-serving remarks are inaccurate, unsupportive of the employees and passengers and will likely cause further fallout to an exhausted, unappreciated, and dwindling workforce, members of which have been leaving for brighter, better paying opportunities by the busload.

"At least Mr. Thomas provided one light moment on his Wednesday TV show. He mis-spoke and actually said 'A conflict like this one can only be resolved ' if the parties don't want resolution.'

"Well, half of that nightmare has come true," Watson stated adding, "watch it yourself and weep."

Local 533 has represented Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County transit system employees since 1987. Chartered in 1934, Teamsters Local 533 represents about 2,200 workers in various trades throughout northern Nevada and eastern California, including about 200 RTC/Keolis workers. The three dozen-plus member unions of the Northern Nevada Central Labor Council/AFL-CIO voted for strike sanctions before the Hot August Strike. They supported the second work stoppage during "Striketober" and will do so again as Strike 3 hits the streets.

The United Labor Agency of Nevada has helped arrange a strike fund. Please send checks to United Labor Agency of Nevada, 1201 N. Decatur Blvd. Suite 106,
Las Vegas, NV 89108; Attn: Teamsters Keolis Strike. OR...

HELP THE STRIKERS. PLEASE DONATE TO THE STRIKE FUND Online

Sign the FIRE KEOLIS petition

The Teamsters International Union has launched a new website in support of Keolis workers in Nevada, nationwide and worldwide: French4Failure.com/

n'est-ce pas?

CWA 9413/AFL-CIO
Y11/12 CHICKENS/strike3/keolis19/rtc/ibt/opsn21b

 

 

 

Breaking News & Bulletins

Strike 3: Washoe transit workers walk off again
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno / Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 11-9 & 11-10-2021

STRIKE 3 hit the streets at Eee-Yo-Leven a.m. Nov. 9
LANDSLIDE — Union members vote 9 to 1 to walk
Third Washoe/Carson bus strike in four months
Foreign contractor offers $1,000 bribes to take pay cuts

HELP THE STRIKERS. PLEASE DONATE TO THE STRIKE FUND Online

Sign the FIRE KEOLIS petition

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
GARY WATSON, President
Teamsters Union Local 533
(775) 348-6060 ext. 104

Links, recent archives & 3+ decades of Teamsters/RTC history at NevadaLabor.com

RENO, Nev. USA (November 8, 2021 / UPDATED 11-9, 11-10 & 11-11-2021 GMT) — "Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the foreign managers of the Washoe County mass transit system are forcing a third strike in four months," stated Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson.

Gary Watson, President
Teamsters Union Local 533

"My members voted throughout the day on Monday as they picked up new picket signs and handbills,' he added.

"We have been bargaining in good faith but Paris-based for-profit Keolis insisted on placing a take-it-or-leave-it, worst-last offer on the table," Watson said.

On Monday, almost all unionized employees voted and the foreign contractor's deal was overwhelmingly voted down by 9 out of 10 workers.

Last week, new Keolis local General Manager Phil Pumphrey sent an internal memo to his employees which stated that the company’s "best" offer would “put Keolis team members in a strong position to continue delivering excellent service for our passengers and supporting the well-being of their families.”

"Mr. Pumphrey hit the-wall and took a great fall," Watson said.

"He might want to take a closer look at his offer and the few employees he has remaining before they all leave for better-paying jobs," the longtime labor leader added.

Pumphrey also stated that the corporation’s offer of a four percent annual raise for the next three years was “more than double the average rate of inflation for the last five years.”

"So the pandemic depression never happened according to Keolis," Watson said. "A head-up-the-hindsight perspective always attempts to re-write the facts," he added.

"He who forgets history is condemned to repeat it, "Watson quoted, "and recent history is about to repeat again," he stated.

BREAKING NEWS: Reno inflation hits 7%
Reno is in the Mountain Division and its CPI (cost of living index) went from 6% in September to 7% in October, 2021
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics / 11-10-2021
Gee, now the Teamsters' demand for a 17.4 % pay raise for mass transit workers seems quite reasonable compared to the bus system's "last-best offer" (an inflation-eroded pay cut) of 12% for three years or 4% annually. The union has demanded a pay increase of 5.3% to 6.3%. The midpoint is 5.8% per year, or 17.4% over three years, below the 7%/21% current rate — which everyone of course hopes will go down as the economy recovers from the plague.

IS 18 PERCENT ENOUGH? Reno is in the top 10 cities nationally for year-over-year rent increases according to Apartment Guide (KRNV TV-4 10-4-2021). Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment broke $1,600.00 for the first time ever in the second quarter. (RGJ.com 8-16-2021).

Using the CPI-W (the Consumer Price Index for Wages), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics pegs inflation for area wage earners in the 5.3 to 6.3 percent range, with projections for October likely higher. [UPDATE: SEE LEFT.]

"Keolis management’s 'last best offer' would result in a three-year pay cut for workers already strugglingto afford skyrocketing rent, food, clothing and medical costs in today’s volatile market," Watson said. 

"Adding insult to injury, they tried to bribe workers with a 'signing bonus' of $1,000 each to take a three-year wage reduction. They apparently assume that Teamsters can't count. The members saw the bogus bonus for the boneheaded boondoggle it was," he added.

A local casino’s advertisement on the side of an RTCRide bus currently offers $20.00 per hour plus scaled-up benefits to attract new workers to the hospitality industry. (See ThisIsReno.com/)

"Like many employers, this example represents a 50 to 90 percent increase from pre-pandemic wages," Watson said.

"A stingy 12 percent over the next three years isn’t going to cut it for our local bus drivers, mechanics and dispatchers," Watson noted. "They will go elsewhere and some already have. They stood tall during the COVID-19 outbreak and deserve better management and adequate compensation after what they’ve been through over the last two years and will continue to endure — all made worse by Keolis refusal to enforce proper masking and safety mandates.

Debbie Calkins
Secretary-Treasurer & Principal Officer
She is the first woman to head the union.

"Avoiding another transit strike should have been Keolis Corporation’s number one concern. Three strikes and they should be out. Now, they must up the ante to recruit new employees and secure remaining workers. Good managers try to attract and retain good people in today’s market. When will they ever learn?

"France-based Keolis has received millions of American taxpayer dollars for pandemic relief — public money intended for employment. It’s time to appropriately use those dollars for a change. Keolis would be wise to accept the modestly higher offer made by Teamsters 533 members: A 17 percent increase (5.67 percent annually) over the next three years which will protect paychecks against inflation.

"By putting our local community stakeholders ahead of foreign stockholders, our local public transit system may just survive," Watson said.

"Keolis has been operating with a blank check authorized by RTC Executive Director Bill Thomas <bthomas@rtcwashoe.com>, which they kept secret until a few months ago," Watson added. "Their contract calls for substantial cash penalties for not providing service. For instance, $1,000 daily for every cancelled route. Acting on his own, Mr. Thomas secretly waived all penalties. How many people would hold their jobs if they didn't show up for work? Keolis can go fishing and still get paid. And they do, every day — at the expense of passengers, workers and taxpayers.

"We ask residents and transit system users to contact the responsible taxpayer-paid officials and order them to protect the health, safety and livelihoods of their constituents,. This superspreader corporate virus has infected this community far too long in too many ways," Watson concluded.

RTC Washoe Contact Information — Utilize frequently

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County is comprised of Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson (R), Washoe County Commissioners Vaughn Hartung (R) and Bob Lucey (R); Reno City Councilmembers Oscar Delgado (D) and Neoma Jardon, (R), board chair. RTC board e-mail <rtcpubliccomments@rtcwashoe.com>

HIGHLIGHT, COPY AND PASTE
delgadoo@reno.gov (Reno Councilmember Oscar Delgado-D),
vhartung@washoecounty.us (Washoe County Commissioner Vaughn Hartung-R),
jardonn@reno.gov (Reno Councilmember/RTC Chair Neoma Jardon-R),
elawson@cityofsparks.us (Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson-R),
blucey@washoecounty.us (County Commissioner Bob Lucey-R),
bthomas@rtcwashoe.com (RTC Executive Director Bill Thomas),
rtcpubliccomments@rtcwashoe.com (RTC board e-mail),

Local 533 has represented Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County transit system employees since 1987. Chartered in 1934, Teamsters Local 533 represents about 2,200 workers in various trades throughout northern Nevada and eastern California, including about 200 RTC/Keolis workers. The three dozen-plus member unions of the Northern Nevada Central Labor Council/AFL-CIO voted for strike sanctions before the Hot August Strike. They supported the second work stoppage during "Striketober" and will do so again as Strike 3 hits the streets.

The United Labor Agency of Nevada has helped arrange a strike fund. Please send checks to United Labor Agency of Nevada, 1201 N. Decatur Blvd. Suite 106,
Las Vegas, NV 89108; Attn: Teamsters Keolis Strike. OR...

HELP THE STRIKERS. PLEASE DONATE TO THE STRIKE FUND Online

Sign the FIRE KEOLIS petition

The Teamsters International Union has launched a new website in support of Keolis workers in Nevada, nationwide and worldwide: French4Failure.com/

n'est-ce pas?

CWA 9413/AFL-CIO
Y11/8 NO!/CLC-2/strike3/keolis19/rtc/ibt/opsn21b


-30-

 

Teamsters Union: Third Mass Transit Strike Imminent
By Bob Conrad / ThisIsReno.com 11-4-2021

SINDICATO: “LA TERCERA HUELGA ES INMINENTE”
By Bob Conrad / ThisIsReno.com 11-7-2021

Bus system bosses' best offer busted
Lower level casino jobs offer more
Mike Pilcher Guest Commentary / ThisIsReno.com / 11-8-2021


 

Teamsters 533 Hot August Strike & Striketober 2021 ARCHIVE

Teamsters Local 533 KEOLIS-19 War Room Archive Jan. 2020 thru July 2021

 

 

BREAKING NEWS AND THEN SOME—>

 

Briana Lucas photo

 

Read it for yourself

Here's a verbatim order from Keolis Operations Manager Taquan Jackson: "Effective 12:00AM (midnight), February 2, 2021 there will be a federal mandate for masks to be worn on public transportation. This is a requirement the local team and RTC have been encouraging and adhering to for some time now. Although the mandate was (sic) been escalated our operators are not to enforce this policy whatsoever."

THE AWFUL TRUTH

Mr. Jackson expects his employees to be acrobats, adhering while ignoring.

This is nothing new. His predecessor Abul Hassan ordered this on June 26, 2020: "We are not to deny ridership for not having a mask, do not refuse riders."

A driver can refuse to board a pantsless passenger but not a maskless one. (That sitcom scenario actually happened last year.)

The transit system's bedrock customers are the least among us: The elderly, the very young, minorities, the disabled, homeless and those of low income who cannot afford autos or don't drive.

Some employees are allowed to work sick. Health, safety and COVID-19 test results have been withheld in violation of the union contract. Why won't RTC let the union know how many safety complaints come in from passengers?

Last year, RTC received $26.2 million in federal relief funds.

RTC Washoe provided billing from Keolis which showed they spent only $338,000 on COVID-19 safety.

RTC further informed the union that Keolis swept much of the rest directly to corporate profit.

On August 17, 2021, a National Labor Relations Board judge will review why Keolis refuses to disclose how many union members contracted COVID-19, among other union-busting charges.

Please contact your five RTC commissioners and advocate for endangered passengers and workers.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County is comprised of Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson (R), Washoe County Commissioners Vaughn Hartung (R) and Bob Lucey (R); Reno City Councilmembers Oscar Delgado (D) and Neoma Jardon, (R), board chair. RTC board e-mail <rtcpubliccomments@rtcwashoe.com>

CWA 9413/AFL-CIO


2002 RTC Transit Strike Archive

 

Teamsters Local 533 KEOLIS-19 War Room Archive Jan. 2020 thru July 2021
(Includes 2017-2019)

Teamsters 533 Hot August Strike & Striketober 2021 ARCHIVE

NevadaLabor.com/TEAMSTERS LOCAL 533 ARCHIVES

Teamsters 2014-2016 ARCHIVE

Teamsters 2011-2013 ARCHIVE

Teamsters 2010

Teamsters 2009

2008-09 Teamsters RTC/Ride negotiations
Links to 16-year Teamsters 533 news-photo-strike archives starting with the 1997 UPS strike

Teamsters 2008

Teamsters 2006

Teamsters 2005

Teamsters 2004 Strike Archive

2002 RTC Transit Strike Archive

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