(LONDON) – Doreen Lawrence, Baroness of Clarendon and a member of Britain’s House of Lords, met today with Dot Scott, president of the Charleston, S.C., chapter of the NAACP, on issues concerning civil rights, human rights and workplace conditions at Durham School Services in the United States. Durham is the school bus subsidiary of United Kingdom-based National Express Group PLC (NEX: LON) and the second-largest school bus transportation company in the U.S.
Scott traveled to London to speak at today’s National Express Annual General Meeting (AGM) of shareholders in support of Resolution 22, a proposal that calls for independent review of the company’s labor practices in the United States. Scott was joined at the AGM by fellow community leaders, institutional investors and global labor representatives from the Teamsters Union, International Transport Workers’ Federation and Britain’s Unite the Union.
“National Express has a responsibility to treat workers fairly. When workers have issues they go to the union; when parents have concerns, they come to me,” Scott said. “We have had a lot of issues over the years in Charleston with this company regarding safety and worker treatment. Now is the time for an independent monitor at this company.”
Lawrence, the founder of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, is a strong advocate for human rights. Lawrence founded the Trust in honor of her son Stephen Lawrence, who was killed in a racial attack in 1993. Last year, Lawrence was named the most powerful woman in Britain by BBC Woman’s Hour.
“At the end of the day, we are talking about ordinary people and their children,” Lawrence told Scott, stressing the importance of maintaining the fight for justice.
Nearly a quarter of independent shareholders did not back the National Express Board of Directors’ recommendations on Resolution 22. Resolution 22 received the largest vote in favor of a shareholder resolution on labor rights at a United Kingdom-based company in the past decade.
On May 1, 32 members of the U.S. Congress sent a letter urging the National Express Board of Directors to institute an independent review of Durham.
More than 30 Members of Parliament recently put forth an Early Day Motion, condemning the anti-trade union activities of National Express.
For more information on the resolution and National Express’s record in the U.S., go to www.busfair.org.
The Teamsters’ Drive Up Standards campaign is a global campaign to improve safety, service and work standards in the private school bus and transit industry. Since the campaign began in 2006, more than 38,600 North American school bus and transit workers have become Teamsters.
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.