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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

No Accord Yet as MTA, Drivers Union Negotiate

September 08, 2000

LOS ANGELES — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority held a bargaining session Thursday with the United Transportation Union, which represents bus and rail operators, but no agreement on a new contract was reached and the prolonged talks are expected to continue.

Goldy Norton, a spokesman for the union, said "substantive proposals were exchanged on major issues" during the bargaining session, but he declined to discuss specifics.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents the MTA's mechanics, said there would be no walkout by members of that union today, so the transit agency's bus and rail service should continue to operate normally.

There was no meeting Thursday between the agency and the Transportation Communications International Union, which represents MTA clerks and customer service agents.

With negotiations moving slowly, attention shifted to Sacramento, where Gov. Gray Davis is considering a bill that would require the MTA to honor the pay and benefit levels of its labor contracts for at least four years if new transit zones are created.

The transit zones could be carved out of the MTA's existing bus lines in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys. Backers of the zones believe they could provide less expensive, more extensive bus service than the MTA in those areas.

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