School bus workers with First Student in Carleton, Mich., have voted overwhelmingly, 25-2, in favor of representation by Teamsters Local 283 in Wyandotte, Mich. The group of 35 drivers and monitors reached out to the Teamsters Union seeking a strong voice to address their workplace concerns.
“My co-workers and I have really worked hard to come to this point and we’re going to continue to work hard so we can secure a strong contract. I look forward to better working conditions and being treated with respect on the job,” said Lana Baas, a First Student school bus driver.
“We came together and decided to join the Teamsters because it was time for a change. We needed union representation to tackle the longstanding issues and concerns we have been vocalizing to management for years,” said Denise Andring, a First Student school bus driver.
“The committee in Carleton is very strong. These workers really showed a united front throughout their entire organizing campaign,” said Marian Novak, an organizer for Joint Council 43. “Throughout the campaign the workers stood united, demanding respect and consideration from management.”
The drivers and monitors will be covered by the Teamsters' national master agreement with First Student. Economics and individual gains at the Carleton First Student location will be negotiated by Teamsters Local 283.
“These drivers and monitors show what workers can do when they stick together. They never backed down, and with assistance from all levels of our union, were able to gain strong Teamster representation. I applaud this group for standing together in solidarity and look forward to taking part in the bargaining process to negotiate a strong contract,” said Local 283 Business Agent and Secretary-Treasurer Mike Fingan.
“We are elated to welcome these workers to our union and into the Teamster family,” said Local 283 President Steve Hicks. “These are hardworking people who will make a great impact on our local and we look forward to helping them secure a strong Teamster contract.”
The Teamsters’ Drive Up Standards campaign is a global campaign to improve safety, service and work standards in the private school bus and transit industry. Since the campaign began in 2006, more than 38,600 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 International Brotherhood of Teamsters 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 @Teamsters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.