Lancaster bus manufacturer signs historic union deal

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Lancaster bus manufacturer BYD announced Monday an agreement to hire hundreds of union workers to build a 150 acre SkyRail/SkyShuttle manufacturing facility in Lancaster.

Monorail systems proposed and implemented by BYD will by built in Lancaster by as many as 1,000 new union workers from Lancaster and the wider Los Angeles region, according to Stella Li, President of BYD North America.

“We are committed to our community and to a growing and well-trained union workforce,” Li said.

The agreement, signed with the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, also specifies that Lancaster residents will get first priority in hiring. They’ll be followed Antelope Valley residents, and then residents of disadvantaged areas within greater Los Angeles County.

Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris has long touted BYD’s presence in the Antelope Valley as “life-saving” for the local economy. Parris has estimated that the final number of new jobs in the area could be as high as 2,500, and that’s without taking into account ancillary industries also receiving a boost from newly-employed Lancaster residents, such as housing and retail.

BYD’s SkyRail is an elevated tramway proposed for the Los Angeles region. Still in its planning stages, SkyRail is projected to move up to 30,000 people every hour in each direction, with trains operating on two minute headways.

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