First Student Drivers Overwhelmingly Choose Teamsters

Aug 22, 2011, 15:36 ET from International Brotherhood of Teamsters

63 Charter Drivers Join Local 313 Seeking Respect, Fair Pay

TACOMA, Wash., Aug. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Charter bus drivers with First Student, Inc. in Tacoma, Wash. voted overwhelmingly to join Teamsters Local 313 in Tacoma on Friday. The workers are seeking affordable and decent health insurance, fair pay and an end to favoritism on the job. There are 63 workers in the bargaining unit.


"I support forming a union with the Teamsters because we all need a living wage," said Virginia Mentsell, a driver at First Student. "A Teamster contract will help us secure that and much more."

For driver Tom Caudle, joining the Teamsters was about gaining dignity and respect on the job site.

"Prior to becoming Teamsters, we were being taken advantage of. Now that we are Teamsters, we will get the respect we deserve through a strong Teamster contract," Caudle said.

The organizing committee of workers worked hard together throughout the campaign, rallying support behind their successful effort to gain Teamster representation.

"I'm very proud of these workers for sticking together and proving that there really is power in numbers," said John Emrick, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 313. "I welcome them to the Teamster family and look forward to working with them in the future."

The victory is the latest in an effort to organize private school bus and transit workers across the country. 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 30,900 drivers, monitors, aides, attendants and mechanics have become Teamsters.

For more information on the Drive Up Standards campaign, go to:

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hard-working men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Go to for more information.

SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters