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First Transit Workers Stand Together For Teamster Representation


WorFirst Transit paratransit drivers, dispatchers and schedulers in Chicago recently voted resoundingly for Teamsters Local 727 representation.

The 100 new members united as they seek better working conditions, wages and benefits through a Teamster contract.

“The whole group – from the drivers to the dispatchers, everyone – was for the union the whole way,” First Transit dispatcher Sharee James said. “Whether management liked it or not, we were going to get the union in here.”

Local 727 representatives and Teamsters from Illinois and northwest Indiana also recently joined dozens of First Transit workers at a rally hosted by Local 727 and Teamsters Joint Council 25.

The paratransit drivers transport disabled and elderly passengers throughout the Chicago area. First Transit is located in Chicago’s South Side Canaryville neighborhood. Earlier this year, Local 727 secured a first contract for dispatchers and call-takers at First Transit’s Glenview, Ill., location.

“The men and women of First Transit are providing valuable services to our communities each and every day,” said John Coli Jr., President of Local 727. “Our local union understands this industry, how important it is and the types of issues these workers face. We will continue to stand strong with our new First Transit members as we move forward together and begin working toward a strong, fair first union contract.”

Teamsters Local 727 represents about 7,000 hardworking men and women, including more than 800 paratransit drivers, dispatchers, schedulers, customer service representatives and mechanics at First Transit, CDT and MV Transportation locations throughout the Chicago area.

James previously worked for three years as a dispatcher at MV Transportation in Niles, where she also stood with her co-workers to obtain Teamsters Local 727 representation.

“The Teamsters represent a lot of paratransit members, and they know what they’re doing,” she said. “They know what we want and what we need because this is not the first time they’ve been through this. They’re the best union to get the job done.”

Teamsters Local 727 is an affiliate of Teamsters Joint Council 25, America’s premier labor union for Chicago, Illinois and northwest Indiana.