Durham School Services Drivers Vote to Join Teamsters in California
WASHINGTON, Feb. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Teamsters' Drive Up Standards campaign to organize private school bus and transit workers nationwide has reached a major milestone, with 300 organizing wins for more than 32,500 workers since the campaign began in 2006.
"School bus workers nationwide have built a movement with the Teamsters to improve their working conditions, and they are achieving better workplaces with good wages, benefits, safety and respect," said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. "We look forward to representing these members as we continue to win more organizing victories and raise standards in this industry."
The milestone was reached with a victory for school bus drivers at Durham School Services in Hayward and Livermore, Calif., who voted overwhelmingly to join Teamsters Local 853 in San Leandro, Calif. The 159 workers united for respect and a voice on the job.
"Every day these hardworking drivers transport our children to school, providing a vital service for our communities. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect," said Rome Aloise, President of Teamsters Joint Council 7 and International Vice President. "I welcome them to the Teamster family and look forward to helping them achieve the dignity and respect they deserve."
"We're doing this to be able to survive. The money we're making isn't paying the bills and we want to be treated like human beings," said Linda Aguiar, a 25-year driver at Livermore. "I think we really worked hard and have come together. This journey has been a really good thing."
During their organizing campaign, the workers held a "Speak Out," a meeting where they brought their concerns about working conditions to the attention of the community. In front of political, religious and other community leaders, the drivers spoke about the struggles they faced and why they chose to form their union.
"I love working with the kids. I just want to be able to do my job, to have respect and a voice. I'm very happy we're Teamsters now so we can have those things," said Maria Lopez, a driver at Hayward.
Drive Up Standards is a national campaign to improve safety, service and work standards in the private school bus and transit industry. Since the campaign began in 2006, more than 32,500 drivers, monitors, aides, attendants and mechanics have become Teamsters.
Durham is a subsidiary of National Express Group, a large multinational corporation based in the United Kingdom. Durham is the second largest provider of school bus transportation services in the United States, servicing 11 school districts in northern California.
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @TeamsterPower.
SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters