(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) – More than 200 Durham School Services drivers and monitors have voted overwhelmingly to become members of Teamsters Local 243 in Plymouth Township, Michigan. The workers are responsible for transporting Ann Arbor Public Schools students.
“These drivers and monitors joined together in solidarity, stood up for one another and demonstrated tremendous bravery during this campaign,” said Local 243 President Jim “Cinci” Cianciolo. “We’re looking forward to meeting the company at the negotiating table.”
Joint Council 43 President Greg Nowak thanked the workers for supporting the Teamsters and welcomed these future members to Joint Council 43.
Equitable pay raises were cited as a big concern for drivers and monitors during the campaign. Drivers received a pay raise two years ago, but monitors received no such increase in compensation. Job security and the right to dispute unjust terminations were also concerns for the workers.
When the company found out about the organizing drive, they mounted an anti-union campaign that including holding an “employee appreciation day,” where workers were given free food. Local 243 Recording Secretary Neil Pettit said it didn’t make the workers change their mind about joining the Teamsters.
“The company doled out the three Ps – pizza, pancakes and promises,” Pettit said. “These drivers and monitors know that the three Ps aren’t going to make a difference. The only thing that’s going to make a difference is a union contract.”
The Ann Arbor workers’ vote to become Teamsters came just one week after more than 250 Durham drivers, monitors and mechanics in Chattanooga, Tenn. voted to join the union. The Teamsters’ membership continues to grow as the union represents thousands of Durham workers throughout the United States and Canada.
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 www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.