Lake County transit workers voted Thursday to call off their strike and unconditionally return to work.

In a prepared statement, Teamsters union representative Mark Gleason said drivers hoped to restore full public transportation services to Lake County by Friday. Thirty five employees are represented by the bargaining unit.

However, Christie Scheffer, chief operating officer of Washington-based Paratransit Services, said service would not be restored that quickly.

"We're not going to do that," she said.

She said there are administrative concerns to work out, such as how many of the striking employees will be taken back.

The company has hired and trained new employees who are expected to start driving buses on Friday. The company earlier announced that partial service would resume Friday and full service would be restored by early September.

The new employees are expected to be retained, Scheffer said.

She said the company has five days work out a variety of issues. The strike over wages has been in effect since July 29, forcing most Lake County residents who rely on the transit service to find alternative ways of getting from place to place.

Four routes, operated by managers and employees who crossed picket lines, have been in operation.

(Staff Writer Glenda Anderson can be reached at 462-6473 and