OAKLAND, Calif., March 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alameda-Contra Costa (AC) Transit District Board of Directors has voted to purchase its buses from Gillig, LLC, a local company that employs 450 Teamster members who produce heavy-duty transit buses.
"This is the last American bus manufacturer in the United States. Cooperation between the union and the company keeps good jobs here at home, and with the cooperation of responsible transit agencies who are buying American, we can keep good jobs in the Bay Area and the U.S. well into the future," said Rome Aloise, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 853 in San Leandro, President of Teamsters Joint Council 7 and International Vice President.
The Board voted 6-1 to purchase more than 40 new buses from Gillig. Each bus takes about a week to produce. Teamsters Local 853 members have manufactured buses at the company's Hayward, Calif., facility for more than 35 years.
Gillig, an eco-friendly manufacturer, sold buses to AC Transit in the early 1990s, before AC Transit began purchasing its buses from Van Hool, a Belgian manufacturer. The Van Hool contract came under public scrutiny for the high costs associated with it, including the expense of manufacturing and shipping transit buses from Belgium to the Bay Area.
"As an author of the resolution for AC Transit to 'Buy American' in 2009, I am so thrilled that we are going to be buying buses that are made in America and in our district. I strongly support this," said AC Transit Board President Elsa Ortiz.
"I want to thank the Board for voting to bring this work to our company," said Jose Tejada, a Local 853 shop steward at Gillig. "I am active in my union and contribute to DRIVE, our Teamsters political action committee. This decision shows how important it is for Teamster members to get involved and support the local elected leaders who will support us and the work that we do."
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States and Canada. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @TeamsterPower.
SOURCE Teamsters Joint Council 7