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The Lead: Labor Deal at Capital Metro, Dell Stands Behind Buyout Offer, Austin Vehicle Thefts Up

Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Good morning. Austin's in for partly cloudy weather with a seasonal high in the 70s, according to the National Weather Service.

Lead Story: There’s a new two-year labor contract for Austin bus drivers.

McDonald Transit operates about 70 percent of Capital Metro’s fixed route bus service.  It has signed a two-year labor contract with Amalgamated Transit Union 1091, which represents the drivers and mechanics, after being ratified with a union vote of 91 percent.

“The agreement with the local union ensures the continued delivery of quality bus service for the thousands who rely on our employees and their excellent”, explained McDonald Transit General Manager Steve Keiper. “The terms are fair to both sides.” 

“It’s great to hear that the finalized Collective Bargaining Agreement had such broad support from the Union membership," said Mike Martinez, Cap Metro chairman and Austin city council member. "On behalf of the Capital Metro board, I commend both parties for their dedication to the community. Now we can continue to focus on serving the over 120,000 daily riders who depend on our services.”

Dell Firm on Buyout: The Dell committee that negotiated the Round Rock computer maker's $24 billion buyout is standing behind the deal, despite misgivings from major shareholders who believe the price is too low.

In a statement released today, the four directors who oversaw the discussions to sell Dell provided their most extensive defense of the deal since it was announced a month ago.

CEO Michael Dell, backed by the investment firm Silver Lake, is trying to buy out the company he founded for $13.65 per share. The directors' decision to publicly reiterate their rationale for agreeing to the deal suggests that they are not having second thoughts.

Vehicle Thefts Up: Austin police report an 18 percent increase in vehicle thefts this year compared to the same period last year. More than 350 cars and trucks were stolen in January and February.

APD says in two out of five of those thefts, the key was in the vehicle. 

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