On March 10, 2023, workers employed at Bicycle Transit Systems voted 97% in favor of an industry-leading first contract that includes pay increases, paid sick days, just cause discipline protection, anti-discrimination protection, and other workplace improvements. The workers, who manage, maintain, and redistribute LA Metro bikeshare bikes throughout the Los Angeles region, are represented by Transport Worker Union Local 320.
SSDS attorney Kirill Penteshin led negotiations for the union.
“The story of this LA Bikeshare contract victory begins with workers having the audacity to fightback to advance their livelihoods. These workers began organizing in the middle of a pandemic, persevered through two years of tough contract negotiations, and ultimately came out on top—with an agreement that raises the standard for this industry across the board,” said TWU International President John Samuelsen. “I’m incredibly proud of what this workgroup has fought to accomplish and I am honored to welcome them to the TWU family.”
“This contract represents the solidarity of the workers here and reflects the value, importance, and dignity of our labor. It will help ensure better protections, accountability, and livable wages, all of which translate into a thriving future for the workers and the metro bikeshare system,” said Ann Marie Drolet, a bike mechanic and member of the negotiating team.
The LA metro bikeshare victory comes as popularity for unions continues to soar among Americans and at a time when workers in emerging markets are organizing and fighting the bosses to secure life-changing contracts.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: an organizing campaign means nothing until workers ratify their all-important first contract,” Samuelsen said. “Since 2017, the TWU has been committed to growing our membership and settling for nothing less than life-changing collective bargaining agreements for the workers we represent.”
The TWU collectively represents more than 1,000 seasonal and permanent bikeshare workers in cities across the U.S., including New York, Chicago, Washington DC, the Bay Area, Detroit, and Boston. It is the first and only national bikeshare union in the country.