Monday, November 15, 2010

It takes guts and persistence to form a union -- and get the roads fixed

Our brother Bobby Thomas in Kansas has the guts and persistence to do at least two remarkable things.

1. He singlehandedly instigated a $3.4 million road reconstruction project by standing on a street corner, alone, for 10 days in the summer of 2007 with a sign that said, “Turn here to drive on an obstacle course.”

2. He helped organize First Student drivers and attendants in Wichita last month. They voted 415-53 to join Teamsters Local 795.

Thomas is a retired 28-year Teamster UPS package car driver who now works for the First Student bus company. He said,
There were some people who never had the Teamsters or union experience like I had in my job at UPS and I related my experiences to them while we were organizing. Words can’t describe how important being in a union is and how I value that. A vote for the Teamsters was a vote for dignity, a vote for improving working conditions and a vote for unity.
Three years ago he was so concerned about driving conditions that he staged his one-man protest. On Day 10, the local news station sent a reporter to interview him. The news report brought attention to the lousy roads.  Recently Thomas joined Wichita's mayor, Carl Brewer, to celebrate the multi-million dollar road improvements along 17th from Grove to Hillside.