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Local 542 Members Win Battle for Higher Wages, Better Benefits

The decision to strike is never easy. The picket line brings stress not just to the strikers, but to their families, their communities and everyone who depends on their labor.

For hundreds of Local 542 members who provide paratransit services for MTS Access in San Diego, walking off the job came with the added difficulty of leaving thousands of passengers who rely on their service. But it was a necessary inconvenience to keep the paratransit system running properly, according to Local 542 member Lisette Iribe, a reservationist at MTS who took to the strike line.

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Lewisville School Bus Workers Join Teamsters Local 745

(DALLAS) – On Friday, First Student school bus workers in Lewisville, Texas voted decisively in favor of joining Teamsters Local 745 in Dallas. The nearly 400-worker unit consists of drivers and monitors who are seeking a strong voice to address their workplace concerns.

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Lockport School Bus Workers Choose Teamsters

On Friday, school bus drivers and monitors at STA/Ridge Road Express who transport students for the Lockport City School District and Starpoint Central School District overcame tough opposition from management to join the Teamsters Union. The nearly 200 school bus workers voted decisively in favor of Teamsters Local 449 in Buffalo, N.Y, calling for improved working conditions and wages, respect on the job and assurances that they will be paid for all hours worked. 

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Eric Griffith, Local 512, Jacksonville, Florida

Some of the saddest things I’ve heard over the years are the “reasons” that people give for not getting involved, whether it’s with their local union or important issues that need attention in their yard or work area. They give reasons like, “Oh, I just don’t have the time” or “I don’t want the company to get upset with me.” And the list goes on and on.

Many of us are busy between runs and after work, so making time can be a challenge, but at some point we have to ask ourselves, “What happens when we don’t get involved?” and “Does it make a difference when we do get involved?”

Will Dost, Local 104, Tucson, Arizona

Today's Drive Up Standards profile is of Will Dost, a coach operator in Tucson, Arizona. Dost was one of 500 workers who took to the strike line in the late summer and early fall of 2015 demanding respect from their employer, Sun Tran. For 42 days, Dost and his co-workers stood in solidarity under the hot Tucson sun and, in the end, won an excellent new contract for Sun Tran workers. The following story from the Fall 2015 issue of Teamster magazine tells the incredible story of the Local 104 members.

U.S. Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Durham School Bus Workers in Florida

(WASHINGTON) – On Tuesday, Durham school bus workers scored a landmark victory in their three-plus-year effort to win union recognition in Santa Rosa County, Fla. In a decision handed down by the United States Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., Durham School Services’ appeal was denied to contest the certification of the workers’ 2013 election to obtain representation from Teamsters Local 991 in Mobile, Ala.
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Lori Polesel, Local 445, Rock Tavern, New York

I started working as an unorganized school bus driver for First Student in 2004. Before forming our union, my co-workers and I had no voice on the job. On March 30, 2007 that all changed. We voted to become Teamsters. Through the help of the Drive Up Standards, my co-workers and I found our voice and were on our way to winning respect through our first Teamster contract.

Kevin Shelton, Local 570, Baltimore

Before becoming a school bus driver, I served as a communications specialist in the U.S. Army for several years. After leaving the army, I found work with a telecommunications company and really enjoyed it until the company tanked following the recession.

Willie Barnes, First Student, Los Angeles

My name is Willie Barnes and I’ve been driving a school bus for over 20 years. I’ve been a shop steward for over 10 years. 

I want to share a story about our First Student yard, St. Andrews terminal in Los Angeles, Calif.