Rhode Island School Bus Drivers Choose Teamsters

Jan 19, 2010, 15:48 ET from International Brotherhood of Teamsters

First Student Workers Unite for Respect and Better Working Conditions

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- First Student school bus drivers in Warren, Rhode Island, voted 32-10 today to join Teamsters Local 251. There are 51 workers in the bargaining unit.

"I'm thrilled with our vote. Everyone did an excellent job rallying together!" said Elizabeth Mandeville, a 15-year driver. "We're looking to get paid what we are worth, to have health insurance we can afford, and to have one set of rules that we can all go by. That's why we voted to become Teamsters."

"This was a great victory and sends a message to the company that these workers want change," said Joseph Bairos, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 251 in East Providence.

"We proudly welcome the newest addition to the Teamster family. These brave men and women showed their strength and unity with this powerful vote," said David W. Laughton, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Joint Council 10. "We look forward to getting them the respect and dignity in their contract that they deserve."

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.

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