School Bus Workers in Iowa Join Teamsters Union
First Student Drivers and Monitors Unite to Drive Up Standards
WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — First Student school bus drivers and monitors in Council Bluffs, Iowa, have voted to join the Teamsters Union, seeking respect, fair wages and affordable health care. There are 83 workers in the bargaining unit.
“We are so pumped. I can’t tell you how happy we are,” said Ariel Bloom, a 10-year driver in Council Bluffs. “We just want to raise standards here and have a say in our lives. We needed the Teamster support here.”
In April 2008, 467 First Student workers in Omaha, Nebraska, joined Local 554. Workers from this location came to nearby Council Bluffs to talk to their First Student coworkers about the improvements they’ve experienced through becoming Teamsters.
“I came out here to help the workers in Council Bluffs organize and to share our story in Omaha,” said Joni Cleveland, a shop steward and driver in Omaha. “We have a very good Teamster contract; we have recourse. I’m very excited about this vote.”
“These workers saw the good we were able to achieve in Omaha and they worked hard to unite. We’re looking forward to representing them,” said James Sheard, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 554.
The victory is the latest in an effort to organize private school bus and transit workers across the country. Drive Up Standards 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 24,800 drivers, monitors, aides, mechanics and attendants have become Teamsters.
For more information on the Drive Up Standards campaign, go to: www.schoolbusworkersunited.org.
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters