30 Apr, 2012, 10:05 ET
Drivers and Monitors in Coal City Unite for Respect
WASHINGTON, April 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- School bus drivers and monitors with Illinois Central School Bus in Coal City, Ill., have voted to join Teamsters Local 179 in Joliet, uniting for respect and better working conditions. There are 80 drivers and monitors in the bargaining unit.
"This is a wonderful thing. I'm looking forward to having more job security and a voice at the bargaining table. Now that we're Teamsters, we will have backing," said Charles Squellati, a monitor.
"We are happy that these dedicated school bus workers chose to be represented by Teamsters Local 179," said Tom Flynn, President of Local 179. "We are looking forward to negotiating to better their working conditions."
The Coal City drivers and monitors united to form their union, along with the help of the International Union, Teamsters Joint Council 25 and Local 179, in a truly collaborative effort.
"Our congratulations go out to these workers who have come together to better their lives, and together, we will continue to raise standards in the school bus industry," said John T. Coli, Teamsters International Vice President and President of Teamsters Joint Council 25.
"We couldn't be happier. We worked so hard for this and it feels like such a new beginning," said Janette Bollinger, a driver. "We're stronger together, and we will support all the other drivers and monitors at Illinois Central in their upcoming elections."
Illinois Central school bus workers will vote in their Teamster elections in Wilmington (May 3); Channahon (May 9); Waukegan (May 10); and Mt. Prospect (May 11).
Illinois Central is the fifth largest private school bus company in the United States, operating a fleet of more than 3,400 school buses, vans and other student transportation vehicles.
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 34,000 drivers, monitors, aides, attendants and mechanics have become Teamsters.
For more information on the Drive Up Standards campaign, go to www.driveupstandards.org
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
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