Citi Bike workers become first bike share employees in North America with union agreement

Citi Bike workers will get raises of over 20% in four and a half years as part of a new agreement with the bike share company, union officials said Thursday.

TWU Local 100, which reps about 200 Citi Bike workers, said the agreement reached with operating company Motivate is the first union agreement for bike share workers in North America.

Staff workers, which include mechanics and technicians, will see an immediate 10% boost in their pay, officials said.

“This is an historic agreement,” said John Samuelsen, who heads TWU Local 100, in a statement. “It greatly improved the income and benefits of those dedicated workers, but just as importantly will lead to better service for bike share users.”

Other benefits of the agreement include eight weeks of parental leave, eight holidays, and stable schedules for workers.

“It was very erratic, with little thought to what workers’ lives were like,” said Dolly Winter, a labor organizer and dispatcher at Citi Bike, on working conditions before the agreement. “It’s a success story for many people.”

TWU Local 100 represents bike share workers in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Boston as well.

“It’s a contract that we would look to use as a template to expand across the country as we continue to organize bike-share cities,” Samuelsen added.

Motivate reached the agreement with TWU Local early Wednesday evening.

“We have been very committed to the collective bargaining process and are happy to have reached an equitable agreement,” said Citi Bike spokeswoman Dani Simons in a statement.

“We value our talented and dedicated workforce, and know that our employees are diligent and committed advocates for bike share in New York.”

The union’s executive board unanimously approved the contract Thursday and its members will vote on Tuesday. Union officials expect it to pass.

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