(STONINGTON, Conn.) – Drivers at a First Student yard in Stonington, Conn. voted overwhelmingly to join the International Brotherhood of Teamsters on Wednesday, October 12, 2016. More than 86 percent of the voting drivers chose the Teamsters union.
The 26 workers in the bargaining unit will become members of Local 493 in Uncasville, Conn., which already represents several First Student yards in the state of Connecticut. The workers will also become part of a National Agreement, which the Teamsters and First Student have been parties to since 2011, and which is a first of its kind in the school bus industry.
“This win is a testament to the incredible resilience these workers have demonstrated,” said Tom Schlink, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 493. “They’ve fought through a lot of obstacles, but they never lost sight of the fact that the Teamsters have driven up standards in the school bus industry. We have tremendous union density here in Connecticut and that has bettered working conditions for school bus workers in our state. Our new members will join our brothers and sisters who have empowered themselves with a union.”
“I’m thrilled to be joining such a special group,” said Andrea Clark, a 4-year driver at First Student. “The Teamsters have a proven track record of raising wages and improving benefits in the school bus industry. By voting to join the union, we’ve taken a positive step toward doing the same thing.”
The Teamsters’ Drive Up Standards campaign is a global campaign to improve safety, service and work standards in the privatized school bus and transit industry. Since the campaign began in 2006, more than 46,000 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 International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. For more information, please visit www.teamster.org.