Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Woo-hoo! Another Teamster victory in NJ

Welcome to our 95 new Teamster brothers and sisters who voted 94-1 to join Local 102 in Springfield, N.J., last month. They are Megabus drivers headquartered in Elizabeth and drive between Boston to Washington, D.C.

They wanted to become Teamsters to end favoritism and gain respect.

Charles O. Hall, a driver and Teamster shop steward, said they need a Teamster contract. He said
From our pay to conditions of employment, there are so many changes that we need.

Katrina McGowan is among the 170 Megabus drivers who joined the Teamsters. McGowan is also a shop steward and was among the first group of workers who made initial contact with Local 102 about joining the union. She said
The mistreatment at work kind of bubbled up and I was more than energized to go out and get the information I needed, to help form the union. I know the Teamsters is a very strong and very large union. And we desperately needed help. The first thing I would like to see is more on-the-job respect. I’m looking forward to going into negotiations.
Megabus is owned by a U.K. company, Stagecoach Group. The Teamsters and other U.S. labor unions are familiar with European companies that treat workers here much worse than they do at home. Last year, a report by Human Rights Watch found that European multinationals are exploiting America's weak labour laws to suppress unions. The Independent reported in September that
Human Rights Watch says European multinationals talk nicely about labour relations at home, but pay scant regard to them overseas. In a report published this morning, the New York-based campaign group says that managers at Tesco's new mini-market chain in the US, Fresh & Easy, have created an anti-union atmosphere, and that employees who want to organise union activities live in fear for their jobs. Another UK company, the security firm Group 4 Securicor (G4S), fired an employee for trying to persuade colleagues to join a union.

Kevin O'Connor, secretary-treasurer of Local 102, said the Megabus drivers were really motivated to become Teamsters and did it in a very short time. Tom Duffy, Local 102's president, said all the credit goes to the drivers for wanting to be represented by the Teamsters.
The local currently represents four groups of First Student school bus workers.