Bus drivers and other union employees are again taking aim at their employer — Keolis North America — for a new grievance.
This time, they say, Keolis, the Washoe County Regional Transportation Commission’s bus contractor, locked out one of their members from a room she needed to pump breast milk for her baby.
A demonstration today was promoted as a “milk run roadshow.” A union spokesperson said they filed federal charges against the company for allegedly violating federal law.
Union member Athena Duffy said it was difficult to get a private location to pump breast milk.
“Right now I’m just pumping whenever,” she said. “Accomodations were not made in a timely manner. As soon as [I got in touch with my union representative] things started moving along a little bit.”
A Keolis spokesperson disputed the union’s allegations.
“The inaccurate story that the Union is portraying is a sad example of their continued inability to negotiate on the facts,” said Keolis’ Jenny Fahlbush. “The specific example the Union recently referenced was an isolated incident involving a missing key on the day the mother was trying to access the room for her lactation needs.
“The Union is trying to use the exception to prove the rule,” she added. “This was already addressed with the Union via standard grievance and mediation processes. In a bad-faith attempt to influence our … negotiations beginning next week, they are rehashing resolved matters.”
Today’s protest, which brought about two dozen people to the Washoe County administrative complex on Ninth Street, is the latest in a series of issues the union members have had with the France-based company, especially since the start of the pandemic.