New Hampshire First Student Drivers Join Teamsters

Jan 20, 2010, 17:38 ET from International Brotherhood of Teamsters

School Bus Workers Unite for Respect, Better Workplace

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The men and women who transport students for First Student in Dover, New Hampshire, have voted overwhelmingly, 26-0, to join Teamsters Local 633 in Manchester. The drivers are looking forward to negotiating a Teamster contract to gain respect, better wages, and decent, affordable health care. There are 29 workers in the bargaining unit.

"We're a big family. We look out for each other and we just want to be treated as human beings by our company. We just want to be treated right," said Millie Thistle, a First Student driver. "We get a lot of promises that never come true and I'm just very happy that we have our union now."

"This overwhelming vote shows the unity and determination of these workers to make important changes in their workplace. We're honored that they decided to become Teamsters and we look forward to negotiating a contract to improve their working conditions," said David W. Laughton, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 633 and 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 24,400 drivers, monitors, aides, mechanics and attendants have become Teamsters.

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

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