(Washington, D.C.) – School bus drivers and aides with Durham School Services in Lake Villa, Illinois have voted by a nearly 2-1 margin to join Teamsters Local 301 in Waukegan, seeking fairness and respect in their workplace. There are 143 workers in the bargaining unit.
“I got 102 text messages from co-workers excited about the vote. I’m losing my voice from all the cheering we’ve been doing!” said Phillis Hodo, a driver. “We need seniority to count, fair pay, better and more affordable health insurance and respect. I’m hopeful we’ll make these changes now that we are Teamsters.”
“We’re happy to welcome these workers to the Teamsters and proud that they are the second group in recent months that we’ve organized at Durham,” said Michael Haffner, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 301. In September, 45 school bus drivers with Durham in nearby Antioch joined Local 301.
The Lake Villa drivers and aides stood united as they worked to organize their workplace. During the campaign, the Teamsters Union filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of the workers, which resulted in the removal of unfair write-ups to three workers. As part of a settlement with the Board, Durham was also required to post a notice that they would comply with federal law in not interfering with the workers’ rights to organize.
“Our congratulations go out to the men and women who perform the important work of transporting our children to and from school. We look forward to negotiating a strong contract that values the hard work that they do,” said John T. Coli, President of Teamsters Joint Council 25.
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 30,000 drivers, monitors, aides, mechanics and attendants have become Teamsters. For more information on the Drive Up Standards campaign, go to www.schoolbusworkersunited.org
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.