GET Bus strike over, rides free until Sept. 1

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - GET held a press conference Monday after a strike by union employees ended Sunday.

The strike lasted 34 days.

The union has agreed to a three year term and pay raises for employees.

GET spokesperson Gina Hayden said all rides will be free for the public until September 1, and they will also be exchanging passes from August. The buses will begin running again Tuesday.

GET said layoffs and increasing fares is their very last resort if they start having budget problems in the future.

Union official Chester Suniga said not everyone is happy with the deal, but they all realized other people have been impacted and that contributed to the agreement being made.

"The public has always been on our mind, drivers have been giving rides to people in their free time," said Suniga.

"We want this to be a great place to work, and we want to provide this service to the community," said Hayden.

Hayden said their priority for today is to get the buses up and running again.

The union official said the company agreed to go back to April 1 for retropay.

"School starting really was a pressure point for both sides," said Hayden.

Hayden said GET's message to the public is that they're "sorry they were caught in the middle, there were issues on both sides, we know it was difficult for them, we have resolved those and we're ready to start service again."

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