Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

City, Bus Drivers Stalled.

Byline: Patrick Armijo Journal Staff Writer

Each Blames Other For Contract Impasse

After three years of failed efforts to negotiate a contract, the union local representing Albuquerque bus drivers said the city's stubbornness has led it to court to try to force the city into binding arbitration.

Peggy Hardwick, the city of Albuquerque's director of employee relations, said the city objects to binding arbitration. She agreed that intransigence is a problem but said it rests with the union leadership.

However, Robert Gutierrez, president of Local 1745 of the United Transportation Union, said, "It's not our intention to litigate everything, but if the city had made serious efforts to find a reasonable deal, we wouldn't be here."

The union increased the stakes even further this week, threatening to refuse to drive shuttles during the Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which starts Saturday. A private company is operating the shuttles using city buses. …

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