SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- A strike by workers with the Orange County Transportation Authority that was slated for Monday has been postponed as the union has agreed to return to negotiations.
Only an hour before the strike was set to begin - right after midnight - the union said it was complying with a request from Gov. Gavin Newsom to return to the bargaining table.
Negotiations between OCTA management and the union representing mechanics and other maintenance workers broke down earlier in the day Sunday, both sides said.
At that point, a strike was expected to begin as early as one minute after midnight.
Teamster Local 952 represents about 150 mechanics and other workers.
The two sides are trying to come to terms on issues including wages, pension increases and adjustments to help lower healthcare costs.
The authority still hopes to reach agreement with the union on a contract similar to one reached with bus drivers in February.
"We are offering a similar contract for the maintenance employees and we hope to come to a resolution to avoid impacting bus service for those who rely on it," said Megan Abba, spokesperson for the OCTA.
Eric Jimenez with Teamsters Local 952 says the union would rather not walk off the job if it can be avoided, but it needs to have its issues addressed in the negotiations.
"Walking off the job doesn't do anything for the union, its members or the company but when it comes down to it, if our major concerns and our major asks aren't addressed by OCTA, then we will be walking off the job at 12:01, possibly, tonight," Jimenez said earlier in the day Sunday when the union initially broke off talks.
The current contract expired on Sept. 30.
OCTA is urging bus passengers to start considering other travel arrangements.