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First Student School Bus Drivers Choose Teamsters Union

(Washington, D.C.) – School bus drivers with First Student in Santa Ana, California have taken the first step toward a better workplace by voting overwhelmingly, 64-9, to join Teamsters Local 952 in Orange. The 78 drivers are the second group of workers to join Local 952, after a successful vote for Teamster representation by 84 drivers and aides in Irvine last week.

“We’re excited to be Teamsters,” said Jo Ellen Marsh, a First Student driver in Santa Ana. “We united for better wages, health care and some sick days—what anybody who works in America wants.”

“It’s awesome to see all the good work that went into this. We didn’t give up,” said Ernie Delgado, a First Student driver in Santa Ana. “I was a union member for 27 years and I’d like to see a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work here. I’m confident we can make improvements as Teamsters.”

Patrick D. Kelly, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 952, said the workers stood united throughout the organizing campaign.

“They’re hungry for fairness in the workplace and for improved wages and benefits. Their overwhelming vote demonstrates this,” Kelly said.

“Effective union action necessitates political action, which is why it’s up to all of us to become involved not only on a national scale, but also within our communities and with our local school boards. This vote is a reaffirmation that involvement is how we will ensure that working Americans are treated fairly and our communities are served.”

“The victory for these workers is another example of the effectiveness of the International Union, Joint Councils and local unions in being able to make a difference for workers when we all work together,” said Jim Santangelo, President of Teamsters Joint Council 42. “I’m happy for these proud new Teamster members.”

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 12,000 workers have become Teamsters. First Student workers in Mission Viejo, California will have the opportunity to vote to join Local 952 in their election to be held on Thursday.

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

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