- Associated Press - Monday, October 31, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - A threatened strike by union drivers at two New York City school bus companies was averted after an agreement was reached late Monday.

A spokesman for the Teamsters union, Alex Moore, released a statement announcing the tentative agreement on a union contract with Jofaz Transportation and Y&M; Transit.

Last week, the union had voted to authorize a strike as early as Tuesday.

Moore said that under the agreement, the employers will continue to provide health care at no cost to employees, a key provision for union members.

“When workers stand together, they can win good jobs for their co-workers and their families,” said Demos Demopoulos, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 553. “This was always bigger than two companies and we will continue working with our allies in the labor movement to raise standards in the school bus industry.”

The two school bus companies share the same owner and union contract and run about 600 routes in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. A strike would have involved about 900 workers and thousands of students.

The Department of Education had contingency plans in place, including a MetroCard for students and families and alternate bus service.

Moore said its members still need to approve the agreement.

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