Los Angeles Terminal Workers Approve Contract

President Jimmie McCoy presents ATU Local 1700 pins to new union members Jocelyn Vaca, left, and Janeth Hernandez.
President Jimmie McCoy presents ATU Local 1700 pins to new union members Jocelyn Vaca, left, and Janeth Hernandez.

L.A. Terminal Workers Approve Contract

On Feb. 25, Package Express workers, baggage handlers, janitors, food service staff and ticket agents in Greyhound’s Los Angeles terminal overwhelmingly approved a 3-year contract that holds the line on employee rights and offers some economic relief.

The 49-4 vote capped a year of bitter bargaining sessions and rallies, including a spirited picket line on the National Day of Action last spring that drew support from the L.A. labor movement. About 20 new terminal workers signed up for membership in ATU Local 1700 during the run-up to the settlement.

“It may not be everything we fought for, but we are one step closer to our goal of jobs with dignity, respect, security and living wages,” said Mauritta Wallis, a terminal steward and member of the union bargaining team.

Wallis’ fellow steward and bargaining team member, Jonathan Garrido, said most terminal workers are Latino.

“Our Spanish-speakers have the most trust issues. This contract ensures that they will be treated fairly and have union protection if there is a problem,” Garrido said.

All employees will receive a $300 bonus plus pay-raises and/or annual 2% payouts. All terminal workers are currently paid above California’s $9 hourly minimum, but L.A officials are likely to raise that benchmark to $13.25 before the contract expires. In that case, wages of the lower-paid workers would rise to comply with the new law.

“That’s a strong argument for Local 1700 members to get involved in the Fight For $15 Movement. This fight isn’t over by a long shot,” said Local 1700 President Jimmie McCoy.

Greyhound has refused -- so far -- to change course on plans to cut more terminal workers and further degrade customer service.

Los Angeles terminal members are the largest group of unionized terminal workers, but the company continues to reject union proposals for a master agreement like we have for drivers and mechanics. Contract talks will now be scheduled for Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Buffalo, Sacramento, Cleveland, Jackson and Jacksonville.

"The L.A. contract will lift members’ hopes to secure their rights and improve their conditions when we return to the bargaining table," said McCoy.