New Jersey School Bus Workers Choose Teamsters Union 

First Student Drivers, Monitors and Technicians Seek Respect and Fairness

by Impact Wire Monday, March 02, 2009
School bus drivers, monitors and technicians with First Student in Chatham, New Jersey, voted 50-18 to join Teamsters Local 102 in Springfield. The workers contacted the Teamsters seeking improvements on the job, including greater respect from management and fairness in the allocation of work assignments, as well as fair pay and affordable health care. There are 77 workers in the bargaining unit.

"We did it! This is a weight lifted off my shoulders," said Jacqueline Layne, a driver for First Student in Chatham. "It is time for a change and I feel very good about being in the Teamsters. We needed our voice to be heard and taken seriously."

The work force at the Chatham First Student location is outspoken about the need for change. The group is diverse, consisting primarily of Haitian immigrants who came to the United States for a better life. Many of the employees work multiple jobs just to make ends meet, and are hopeful that, as Teamster members, they will have a much better working life.

"This is an extremely hardworking group, and one that stuck together. The results show it," said Kevin O'Connor, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 102.

"We're proud to be able to represent this group and to try to lift up their standards with some needed changes," said Tom Duffy, President of Local 102.

This 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 15,000 workers have become Teamsters.

Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States and Canada.

0    submitted by Impact Wire
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