Press Releases

First Student School Bus Workers Vote To Join Teamsters Local 653


(SOUTH EASTON, Mass.) – School bus workers at the Abington, Mass., First Student yard have voted overwhelmingly, 38-8, in favor of representation by Teamsters Local 653 in South Easton, Mass. The group of 60 drivers and monitors transport children in the Rockland, Holbrook and Weymouth school districts.

The workers reached out to Teamsters Local 653 earlier this year, seeking a strong voice to address their workplace concerns, specifically in regard to work rules and fair pay.

“We came together and decided to join the Teamsters to finally tackle issues and concerns we have been vocalizing to management for years,” said Marion Yablonsky, a First Student school bus driver. “We decided it was time for a change. We decided we needed union representation.”

“This campaign was about respect and consideration for the workers who transport our children on a daily basis,” said Brian McElhinney, President of Teamsters Local 653. “We look forward to representing these members who provide an important service for our communities.”

The drivers and monitors will be covered by the Teamsters’ master agreement with First Student. The national contract covers more than 21,000 Teamsters who work at First Student in the United States. Economics and individual gains at the Abington First Student location will be negotiated by Teamsters Local 653.

This is the second organizing win for Teamsters Local 653 in the past two weeks. On Nov. 19, 120 custodians, craftsmen and truck drivers with Brockton Public Schools in Brockton, Mass., voted to join Teamsters Local 653. They joined the 120 First Student school bus drivers who were already represented by Local 653 at Brockton Public Schools.

The Teamsters Drive Up Standards campaign 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 37,800 drivers, monitors, aides, attendants and mechanics have become Teamsters.

For information on the Teamsters Drive Up Standards campaign, go to

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at