Teamsters Local 533
Teamsters Local 533

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The Truth About Keolis Transit

List of Bad Behavior from a Bad Actor

In case the community has forgotten, here is a "list " of the bad behaviors of the French Keolis Corporation :

> Disciplined a bus driver for asking a rider to wear a mask during the pandemic

> Disciplined a bus driver for bringing in cleaning supplies when proper supplies were not provided

> Refused to arbitrate virtually during the pandemic like everyone else and demanded to arbitrate in person.

> Forced a well-respected arbitrator with the  American Arbitration Association to quit because of stonewalling and demanding to meet in person.

> Threatened to arrest the worker's union president for handing out masks on public property.

> Underfunded the worker's health care trust fund causing a lawsuit

> Began contract negotiations months behind similar agencies.

> Caused a 10-day strike in August due to blatant disregard for the health and welfare of employees.

> Refuse to enforce Federally mandated mask-wearing on public busses.

> Demandedd a federal mediator in contract negotiations and then disregarded their input.

> Received $15 million dollars of CARES Act money

> Manage a transit system that is down to 110 drivers from 180 and losing employees every week

> Struggle to hire because of failure to negotiate in good faith.

> Amass scores of National Labor Relations Board charges.

> Fail to provide sufficient evidence to NLRB and delay hearings.

Mike Pilcher

Northern Nevada Central Labor Council - President Nevada AFL-CIO

Executive Board

Keolis and the RTC Need to be Called Out

Here at the Teamsters Local 533, we have worked hard to maintain our great relationship with the workers and with the community. Unfortunately. we have some bad apples in our community with Keolis Transit and their overseers within the RTC. These folks should be looking out for your local transportation needs. Instead, they are putting the community at risk by not paying attention to safety standards and threatening workers when they try and point out that those safety standards have not been met. We are coming into an important time. The workers who help you in the community every day are having their livelihoods threatened. Keolis is asking the community to turn a blind eye while they take protections and pay away from your local transit workers, only to stuff it into their own pockets and give themselves raises and bonuses. All of this after the workers put their lives on the line to keep the transit system afloat during the pandemic. Please see the articles below and you will see the truth behind Keolis and the RTC. They aren't doing what they were tasked to do. They are not making the community better or safer. They are trying to put your transit drivers at risk slash their pay and slash their protections. Help make your community better. 

What do you do when a company is bad for the employees, bad for the passengers, and bad for the community? What do you do when this bad company is trying to take away every right that you have and strip you of your healthcare? The only option left to you is to stand up and fight. The Teamsters members stood up and did just that. Going on strike is a last resort when nothing else works and the Teamsters are well aware of the burden that going on strike is for the 20,000 plus folks who rely on the city bus day in and day out to support their families. Yet, when we made the tough decision to stand up for our healthcare, you in the community supported us and we appreciate you more than you know. We fought for ten days and were able to win healthcare for our essential workers. But the fight isn't over, Keolis hasn't changed its stripes and is still doing everything in its power to take rights away from your city bus drivers. They have bid routes so poorly that drivers have to choose if they go to the bathroom or keep the route on time. Working mothers under their bid system will not be able to get off and take care of their children. Keolis has shown once again that they do not care about the drivers forcing them into a choice of whether to roll over or stand up and fight again.

With Keolis time and again showing that they cannot be trusted to take care of this communities transit system, we are asking the RTC to hold their contractor accountable or move on from them and run the bus system themselves. This is absolutely something that they can do. The community must hold them accountable. The RTC board is made up of elected officials who are accountable to you the public. We encourage you to reach out to the RTC board and their executive director Bill Thomas and encourage them to fire Keolis and save this bus system.

Neoma Jardon 775-334-2016
Ed Lawson 775-353-2311 Elawson@CityOfSparks.US
Bob Lucey 775-328-2012 BLucey@WashoeCounty.US
Vaughn Hartung 775-328-2007 Vhartung@WashoeCounty.US
Oscar Delgado 775-334-2012
Bill Thomas 775-332-0162
Mark Maloney 714-865-4013

 Contact us at 348-6060 to see how you can help tell the RTC to hold Keolis accountable. For more articles regarding the truth about Keolis and other things the Teamsters are doing in your community please visit

See for references and history, including Hot August Strike 1.0 (2002) and 2.0 (Aug. 3 thru 12, 2021)

SUPERSPREADER ALERT: Teamsters handbill downtown Reno bus terminal

Charges filed against transit bosses for cell-block bidding

Foreign corporation ignores union contract offer

Mask mandate compliance still ignored

RENO, Nev, (9-14-2021) - Right now, Teamsters union members are handbilling the downtown Reno bus terminal in protest of the latest in a long line of worker abuses. Foreign-owned Keolis Transit wants to move operator scheduling to Texas, disrupting a local system which has worked well for almost 40 years.

"Last Friday, we filed the latest of almost 100 charges of illegal unfair labor practices or worker abuse grievances," stated Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson while handing out flyers to passengers at the E. 4th Street facility.

The filing with the National Labor Relations Board states that "Within the past six months, Keolis Transit America has violated the National Labor Relations Act by rejecting a bidding proposal that resolves all of management's claimed concerns with the current contract and by insisting that men operating a computer program in Texas determine shifts rather than women Teamsters in Reno."

Watson noted that "the company's proposal wipes out a successful and harmonious driver scheduling system which has been in place since the 1982 creation of the Regional Transportation System of Washoe County.

"It allowed drivers, especially working mothers, to integrate their work into their lives, not make it an obstacle. An operator with a medical appointment or a sick child could bid on available routes which fit her family's needs," Watson said, adding that "today, some physicians in Reno-Sparks have no appointments available until mid-2022.


"Keolis wants computer guys in Texas to mandate a strait-jacket schedule. The current system is like a cafeteria buffet. Their alternative is the equivalent of an 'eat this and shut up' prisoners lunch. The union and its members will not stand for Cell-block Scheduling," the longtime labor leader added.

"All last  year, Keolis delayed bargaining on a new contract, knowing that the existing union agreement would expire on June 30, 2021. They are now throwing every roadblock they can into the path of a new deal," Watson added. Under federal law, the expired contract remains in force until an updated one is ratified by the union membership.

On August 3, the for-profit multi-national corporation's continued abuse of passengers and workers led to only the second strike in the four-decade history of the transit system. After 10 days, union members went back to work only after Keolis agreed in writing to abandon its demand that employees forfeit their health insurance through the powerful Teamsters plan and enroll in weaker company-controlled options.

"After a month of scheduling roulette after the strike was place on hold, the company agreed to come to the bargaining table for two days last week," Watson said.

"They used the interim delay trying to divide the workers by withholding scheduled pay raises and mickey-mousing route assignments. They are just not dealing in good faith and local government is letting them act with impunity," Watson added.

"In March of last year, RTC Executive Director Bill Thomas unilaterally removed all performance penalties in their contract, so Keolis can cancel routes, slow down service, shift transit away from seniors and the disabled -- all without sanctions. He kept that secret until the strike loomed. Keolis would owe hundreds of thousands in fines had not Mr. Thomas abdicated his authority," Watson noted.

Last week on August 30, Mr. Thomas announced that the transit system would at long last comply with federal and state COVID-19 safety mandates. An hour later, the new bus system manager told the union that masks would not be enforced.

The Regional Transportation Commission's next monthly meeting will be held on Friday, Sept. 17, in the Washoe County Commission chambers at 9th and Wells in Reno. Mr. Thomas is scheduled to give a report.


Non-Economic Proposal

Please see the attached PDF and you can see how Keolis is actively trying to strip protections away from workers. This contract is over 40 years old and gives workers rights. Keolis doesn't want that and as such, they are trying to strip it back and remove important protections for the hard-working folks who drive transit busses around our great city every day.

Keolis Poison Pill Insurance Proposal

Page Last Updated: Nov 08, 2021 (11:52:26)
Teamsters Local 533
1190 Selmi Dr #100
Reno, NV 89512

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