Durham School Bus Workers in Missouri Join Teamsters
Kansas City School Bus Drivers and Monitors Unite, Send Strong Message to Company
WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — School bus drivers and monitors with Durham School Services in Kansas City, Missouri, have voted overwhelmingly, 203-63, to join Teamsters Local 838, sending a strong message to the company that they are standing united for safety, respect and proper treatment on the job.
“I am so happy about this. I’ve been here a while and wanted to help the young people who had been scared of management before, but we all spoke our word today. Everyone was fed up with having a buddy system instead of a seniority system and with the lack of safety. We are long overdue for a change,” said Rosie Randolph, a 12-year bus monitor in Kansas City.
“We’ve lost money, we’ve had our hours cut and get no respect. We’ve wanted this for the past two years, and finally having our union is wonderful,” said Muriel Gaston, a 14-year driver.
The workers had tried to form a union twice in the past, but decided to go with the Teamsters in their final, successful attempt. They prevailed despite resistance from Durham management in their efforts to join the Teamsters. At the union election, management attempted to exclude the workers from viewing the vote count.
The 290 workers had a huge amount of support from Kansas City community and faith leaders, including strong backing by the Kansas City Teachers & School Related-Personnel, American Federation of Teachers Local 691, and Reverend Kenneth Ray of the Baptist Ministers Union, representing over 100 churches, among other supporters.
“This group was fired up, ready to sign cards, hold meetings at night after work and just ready to go,” said Billy Thomas, President of Local 838. “Their energy was unbelievable and they wanted this so badly. They are a pleasure to work with.”
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 25,000 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