Thursday, September 27, 2012

Teamsters, school bus workers rally for R-E-S-P-E-C-T in Ill.

Happening now: "We need a union at Alpha and Teamsters is the way to go."
School bus drivers and attendants with Alpha School Bus are right now rallying for respect in Crestwood, Ill., with hundreds of Teamsters, political, religious and community supporters.

About 270 Alpha drivers and attendants who transport Northern Illinois schoolchildren fought for years for respect and decent working conditions.  Many of the school children have special needs. The bus workers simply want a living wage and safer buses.

Chanté Jones, a driver at Alpha, describes their struggles:
This is a multi-million dollar company because of us, but we barely make enough to support our families. We need better safety standards and to be treated like human beings by this company. I know we are going to make a change, as long as we continue to stick together and form our union.
Teamsters International Vice President Al Mixon said the drivers need to hear the words "Thank you."
Thank you for transporting our children. Thank you for having the courage to stand up to an employer that would rather keep you down. We are proud of you and we are standing together with all Alpha workers.
Jim Glimco, president of Teamsters Local 777 in Lyons, said the drivers and attendants haven't wavered in their fight to form a union since 2010.
You are an inspiration to school bus workers and workers everywhere who want a better life, and the ability to stand up to their anti-worker, anti-union employers.
The company resisted the workers’ efforts to bargain collectively, setting up a fake union called the Executive Committee. Understanding that they did not have true representation or a legally binding contract, the workers held an internal vote to affiliate with Local 777 in April 2011.
The company wouldn't recognize the workers' federally protected right to bargain collectively. On Friday, the workers will vote again.

Mixon told the Alpha drivers and attendants that 1.4 million Teamsters from all over the U.S. and Canada are behind them.