Charleston School Bus Workers Vote To Authorize Strike At Durham

Jan 15, 2013, 17:52 ET from Teamsters Local 509

Teamster School Bus Drivers Stand Up for Humane Working Conditions

COLUMBIA, S.C., Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- School bus drivers who work for Durham School Services in Charleston, S.C., have voted overwhelmingly, 186-0, to authorize a strike. The workers were unanimous in their decision to authorize a strike, after Teamsters Local 509 and Durham reached a standstill because of the company's unwillingness to negotiate in good faith over decent working conditions.

"We've had 34 negotiation sessions in three different locations—Charleston, Summerville and Beaufort—and because of the company, we are no further along now than when we started. This contractor needs to sit down and negotiate a contract in good faith that is fair to these workers and the children they transport," said L.D. Fletcher, President of Teamsters Local 509 in Columbia, S.C.

"Today our voices were heard. We made a stand to show the company that we deserve to be treated seriously and with respect. We are very serious and sincere about the students we transport," said Latrisha Pringle, a driver.

Workers also cited concerns over the potential loss of their health insurance.

There are about 620 Teamsters Local 509 members at Durham School Services in Charleston, Beaufort and Summerville's Dorchester District 2. Charleston is the first location to hold a strike authorization vote against Durham, a subsidiary of National Express Group, a profitable multinational corporation based in the United Kingdom.

SOURCE Teamsters Local 509