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Two school bus drivers fired

Veolia Transportation Inc. has terminated two employees, nearly one month after Boston school bus drivers held a one-day strike.

Valerie Michaels, a Veolia spokeswoman, said in an e-mail Saturday night that she could not discuss any details. She also declined to name the two individuals.

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Since the Oct. 8 strike, Veolia has suspended five employees it believes organized the strike and has been holding disciplinary hearings.

Under the bus drivers’ union contract, strikes, stoppages, and slowdowns are forbidden, and members can face termination for participating.

The suspensions have been controversial, and a disciplinary hearing last Monday was accompanied by a rally in support of the employees, who also hold leadership positions in the union.

In light of the firings, Boston public schools will open an hour early this Monday in case any problems occur with bus service, said Brian Ballou, a school department spokesman.

“We are closely monitoring the developments,” Ballou said.

The bus drivers have raised a number of issues since Veolia took over the bus operations in July.

Those issues include basing pay on a software program that drivers say underestimates the time to do a route, and thus reduces their pay.

The union filed a complaint in August with the National Labor Relations Board.

The union and the company have held talks since the strike to work out the issues.

James Vaznis can be reached at
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