About 85 percent of TriMet’s workforce — 2,400 workers — is represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 757. This includes bus and rail operators, mechanics, trainers, maintenance workers and dispatchers. The ATU is strike prohibited due to legislation that the union sought in Salem in 2007. The no-strike status is the same as it is for police and firefighters in labor disputes. If both parties are unable to reach a negotiated agreement, the state statute requires the parties be bound by binding interest arbitration — meaning an outside arbitrator selects only one proposal and there will not be a vote to ratify.
In 2012, during the first ever arbitration between the parties, the arbitrator ruled in favor of TriMet and selected the agency’s proposal in its contract dispute with ATU. The successor contract that expired on Nov. 30, 2016 and the current contract that expires Nov. 30, 2019, were negotiated and approved by ATU members.