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Service continues despite bus strike

Nearly all of the buses in Prince George's County were operating on Monday, one week after drivers began a walkout.

A spokeswoman for Veolia Transportation, the company that is contracted to run TheBus, said Monday that 51 of 60 buses were offering full or limited service.

"We are committed to restoring service for our riders on all routes as quickly as possible and we regret the inconvenience this strike has caused our passengers," Ruth Otte, a Veolia spokeswoman said in a statement.
Riders can visit the county's Web site to find out the latest information on routes.

Veolia has been in talks with Teamsters Local 639, which represents the bus drivers. The employees have been working without a contract since June 30.
The union is negotiating for better health coverage and changes in the company's disciplinary policy.

"The company doesn't want to reason with us," said Thomas Ratliff, the president of the union. The last negotiations with a federal mediator were on Sept. 14.

Ratliff said the company has been trying to persuade employees to cross the picket line. About 30 have returned to work, he said.

Otte said there were "no new updates" about the status of the negotiations.

Meanwhile, Veolia continues to use drivers from other jurisdictions to operate the public bus system in the county.

-- Ovetta Wiggins

By Michael Bolden  | September 20, 2010; 5:20 PM ET
Categories:  Metro, Prince George's County, Transit  
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