Global Union Leaders Stand Up for North American School Bus Workers
Kara DenizEmail: [email protected] Phone: 1-202-497-6610
(LONDON) –Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa and Unite the Union General Secretary Len McCluskey met today, as they prepare to bring their fight for workers’ rights to the National Express Group PLC (NEX: LN) Board of Directors at the company’s Annual General Meeting. View photos from this event.
In an historic meeting, the leaders of two of the world’s largest, most powerful unions focused on National Express and the company’s poor record of worker treatment at its North American subsidiaries, Durham School Services (“Durham”) in the United States and Stock Transportation in Canada.
“I’m honored to be here in the United Kingdom to stand together with a great friend of the Teamsters, Len McCluskey. Our unions are coming together to fight for workers who deserve dignity and respect on the job. We couldn’t have a better partner in our fight than Len and his strong union,” Hoffa said.
“I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Jim Hoffa and the Teamsters to make sure that North American workers are not abused by a British company,” McCluskey said. “We are demanding that National Express affords the same basic rights that workers here have for our brothers and sisters across the Atlantic.”
Hoffa and McCluskey will address these issues at the Annual General Meeting of National Express shareholders on May 14 in Birmingham, England. The union leaders will be joined by a delegation of Teamsters, including North American school bus drivers and monitors who work for Durham in Illinois, Florida and South Carolina.
The Teamsters Union, a group of United Kingdom local authority pension funds—Greater Manchester, LB of Islington and Nottinghamshire County Council—and more than 100 individual investors are sponsoring a shareholder resolution. The resolution calls on the National Express Board of Directors to improve board oversight of human capital management, and finally address systemic and longstanding issues with how the company treats its workers in North America. Resolution 22 is the only shareholder resolution filed at a British company this year, and the first shareholder requisitioned resolution to be presented at National Express.
“These men and women work hard transporting our children. They deserve better from this company,” Hoffa said. “We are here in the UK to stand with Durham school bus drivers and monitors from the United States. We are letting the board know firsthand that this company is mismanaging its most valuable asset, the workers, and placing the long-term value of the company at risk.”
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal agency which oversees U.S. labor law, has issued more than 60 complaints since 2001 against Durham. These complaints were denied by Durham but subsequently resulted in settlements. More complaints have been filed this year and Durham is challenging them.
As recently as May 9, 2014, the NLRB ruled in favor of school bus drivers and monitors in Santa Rosa County, Fla., who voted overwhelmingly in Feb. 2013 to join Teamsters Local 991 in Mobile, Ala. Their employer, Durham, filed objections to the election in order to delay certification. The NLRB ruled in favor of the Teamster members and certified the election, dismissing all objections filed by Durham.
“We’re fighting back for school bus workers at National Express. Together, our strong unions are sending a clear message that National Express needs to clean up its act. We will continue to raise our voices in the U.S. and the UK until we see positive change for North American workers,” Hoffa said.
The Teamsters Drive Up Standards campaign to improve safety, service and work standards in the private school bus and transit industry began in 2006. Since then, more than 36,500 North American school bus and transit workers have formed a union with the Teamsters to raise their standards.
For more information on Resolution 22, visit www.busfair.org.
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.