First Transit airport shuttle drivers in Houston have voted overwhelmingly to join the Teamsters. The drivers voted 65-10 on July 17 and are now represented by Teamsters Local 968. There are 124 workers in the bargaining unit.
The drivers play an integral part at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, providing transportation to both the public and to airport workers. Continental Airlines’ ramp service workers often take the shuttle to their workplaces. The Teamsters recently launched a campaign to help the 8,000 ramp service workers form a union.
“The First Transit victory really inspires us because it shows the Teamsters are a union that can win,” said Reggie Robinson, a Continental ramp service worker. “Our campaign is for any Continental worker who has or wants Teamster affiliation. We need everyone out there talking and encouraging other workers.”
Sheila August, a First Transit driver for two years, said the victory shows what workers can do when they stick together.
“We hope that is an example for every worker who wishes to form a union,” August said. “Being a Teamster means gaining respect in the workplace.”
Leo Correa, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 968, welcomed the drivers to the union.
“They serve our city well, and they deserve to be treated with respect,” Correa said. “We look forward to representing them.”
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 18,700 drivers, monitors, aides, mechanics and attendants have become Teamsters.
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.