(WASHINGTON) –School bus drivers, van drivers, aides and mechanics with First Student, Inc. in Lincoln Park, NJ voted nearly two-to-one in favor of representation by Teamsters Local 102 in Springfield, NJ. The workers are seeking affordable and decent health insurance, fair pay and an end to favoritism on the job. There are 105 workers in the bargaining unit.
“This is really about making our lives better. With the Teamsters, we’re going to bring up our standards,” said Henry Johnson, a monitor who has been with the company since 2009. “We want fair wages for fair work and an end to favoritism. With the Teamsters, we’ll get those things plus more—we’ll be treated with respect.”
For driver Ron Stica, joining the Teamsters is the beginning of a better life for himself, his co-workers and his family.
“Currently we don’t get a single holiday and no one gets any sick pay. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid and that’s not fair,” Stica said. “With our Teamster contract, management will have to follow the rules and the workers will finally have some say. It’s going to be a lot better.”
The organizing committee of workers worked hard together throughout the campaign, rallying support behind their successful effort to gain Teamster representation.
“These workers deserve respect and they deserve dignity,” said Kevin O’Connor, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 102. “We welcome these drivers into the Teamster family and look forward to working with them in the future.”
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 30,900 drivers, monitors, aides, attendants and mechanics 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.