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Rail News: Labor
Light-rail strike averted, Valley Metro says

The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1433 and Valley Metro light-rail operator Alternate Concepts Inc. (ACI) agreed late last week to continue contract negotiations, which will keep light-rail service running in the Phoenix area at least through New Year's Eve.

ATU and ACI have agree to submit their issues to an arbitrator, who will make a final, binding decision. The arbitration process will begin in early 2013, Valley Metro officials said in a prepared statement.

The collective bargaining agreement between the parties expired on June 30. Two 90-day extensions were granted to allow for further negotiations. The second extension is set to expire Dec. 31, but last week's agreement continues the collective bargaining agreement's terms until a new pact is reached in early 2013, Valley Metro officials said.

Currently, 47 light-rail operators are employed by ACI.

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