First Student Drivers, Monitors and Mechanics Vote for Strong Teamster Representation
WASHINGTON, June 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- School bus drivers, monitors and mechanics with First Student in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, have voted overwhelmingly in favor of representation by Teamsters Local 170 in Worcester. There are 174 workers in the bargaining unit.
In a vote of drivers and monitors, 145 voted in favor of the Teamsters; 13 voted in favor of the workers' previous union, Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 690; and 3 voted for no union. In a separate vote the same day, six Fitchburg mechanics voted unanimously to join Teamsters Local 170.
"Today was a major victory for us," said Pat LeBlanc, a 12-year driver. "Since we began uniting to join the Teamsters, we've felt hope. We really needed this change; we needed the Teamsters."
"I wanted to become a Teamster because I felt we weren't treated fairly or getting the right representation. I'm excited everything went so well," said Luz Troche, a monitor.
Luis Toledo, who works as a mechanic for First Student in Fitchburg, said the group had wanted to become Teamsters for a long time.
"This is something we've been trying to get for a while and its change we need!" Toledo said.
The resounding victory was made possible through the joint efforts of the International Union, Teamsters Local 170 and Teamsters Joint Council 10 organizers, staff and the workers, who were committed to organizing.
"These folks needed representation and they came to the right union for it, the Teamsters Union, and we look forward to representing them in negotiating a contract," said Michael P. Hogan, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 170.
"This is a great group of workers who were strong and vigilant and this resounding victory demonstrates their unity. We are honored that they have chosen Teamster representation, as more and more school bus workers continue to do so all across the country," said David W. Laughton, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Joint Council 10.
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 27,700 drivers, monitors, aides, mechanics and attendants have become Teamsters.
For more information on the Drive Up Standards campaign, go to: www.schoolbusworkersunited.org
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters