Durham School Services
School bus drivers and monitors who work at Durham School Services voted recently to join Local 327 in Nashville. The 269 workers will join thousands of other Durham employees nationwide already represented by the Teamsters.
From the beginning of the nearly yearlong organizing effort, safety issues have been at the top of the agenda. Drivers and monitors started organizing after a tragic 2016 school bus accident took the lives of six school children.
“After the accident, the drivers and monitors were concerned because there were still serious safety issues and the workers didn’t feel like they had a voice. That has been a big part of the organizing effort,” said Local 327 President Joe Bennett. “What we saw on the buses, it just affected the drivers, monitors and students.”
Other workplace issues were also important, such as wages, benefits, seniority and an end to favoritism on the job.
Durham actively pressures workers not to join the union, creating division and hostility in the workplace. But Bennett is committed to working with every Durham worker in Chattanooga, bringing them together to demand much-needed improvements.
Republic Services landfill workers became the third company-affiliated unit in the San Diego area to organize with Local 542 when they voted to join the union recently.
By a 28-5 vote, heavy equipment operators, mechanics, laborers and weigh station scale house attendants decided on April 4 to join the Teamsters after a two-month campaign. Wages, benefits and job security are top concerns for the 35 workers in the unit.
Jaime Vasquez, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 542 in San Diego, said the workers stood strong despite efforts to sway their decision.
“The company hired an anti-union outfit to try to convince the employees not to vote for the union,” he said. “But obviously it didn’t work.”
In April, 450 members of the Santa Rosa City Employees Association (SRCEA) voted to become Local 856 members.
The members are technical, professional and clerical workers who serve the city of Santa Rosa as code enforcement, IT, administrative technicians, customer service representatives, civil engineering technicians, building inspectors, waste water operators, parking operations aids and more.
“Through their leadership, the SRCEA Board have demonstrated a track record of providing city employees in Santa Rosa with strong representation,” said Local 856 Secretary-Treasurer Peter Finn.
On May 2, inventory control workers at Sysco in Riverside, Calif. voted to join Local 683 in San Diego. There are seven workers in the bargaining unit.
“This is our second attempt with the inventory control group,” said Local 683 Secretary-Treasurer Todd Mendez. “We wouldn’t have been able to do this without the help of Sysco warehouse and transportation workers, in being united and encouraging them to stay strong and to not give into the fear factor.”
Local 683 represents two major hubs; Sysco San Diego and Riverside.
“We are now wall to wall in San Diego and Riverside. That’s a big accomplishment,” Mendez said.
“This was stressful because it was clear the company did not want us to do this, but I had to do what was best for my family,” said Nadine Rodriguez, an inventory control worker at Sysco Riverside. “We were having issues. We needed somebody to represent us, which is why we turned to the Teamsters for help. The support we have gotten is amazing.”
With more than 80 percent voting in favor of union representation, school bus monitors at First Student in Westmont, Ill. have become the newest members of Local 777.
“These workers have spoken loud and clear,” said Jim Glimco, President of Local 777 in Lyons, Ill. “They want the same benefits enjoyed by a vast majority of the First Student drivers and monitors in DuPage County who are covered by a Teamster contract.”
The workers will immediately be covered by the First Student National Master Agreement. With the addition of the Westmont yard, the Teamsters now represent every single First Student bus monitor in DuPage County.
“Monitors at First Student in Villa Park and Glen Ellyn reach a $15 per hour rate, why not us?” said Bertha Adams, a monitor at First Student Westmont with 15 years of experience. “It’s not just about wages, either. A Teamster contract will also bring us job security, representation and guaranteed safety standards for our vehicles.”