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San Diego
Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Transit Contractor Closing, Laying Off 538 Workers

First Transit, the contractor that provides some of North County’s bus drivers, is shutting down its Oceanside office and laying off 538 local employees.

The Cincinnati company provides drivers to the North County Transit District, and has maintained an Oceanside office since 2010. The company said North County Transit District had chosen to end its contract with First Transit, which resulted in the layoffs.

The move comes a year after nearly 300 bus drivers in North County threatened to strike during a labor dispute with First Transit. The Ohio company originally rejected a request for increased wages and health insurance posited by Teamsters Local 542, the labor union that represents the drivers. First Transit and the labor union eventually resolved the dispute a month later.

When asked if the Oceanside closure had anything to do with the labor dispute last year, a First Transit spokesperson said to ask North County Transit District that question. The transit district did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Matt Snyder, a business representative with Teamsters, said First Transit lost the contract through a bid process with the transit district. The contract was instead awarded to Dallas, Texas-based MV Transportation.

“Part of the RFP (request for proposals) requires MV to hire the First Transit employees permitted they pass MV’s hiring process,” Snyder said in an email.

Details of the closure were reported to California’s Employment Development Department, and layoffs are effective June 30.

“First Transit is disappointed by the decision of North County Transit District, but remains committed to provide safe and reliable service to end of the contract,” said First Transit’s spokesperson Jay Brock in an email.

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