Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Vermont community supports striking Teamster bus drivers

Striking Teamster bus drivers from Local 597 in Burlington, Vt. 
Seventy of our Teamster brothers and sisters in Burlington, Vt., are striking for a fair contract and getting a lot of community support, according to our good friends at We Party Patriots.

The drivers are represented by Teamsters Local 597 and work for the Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA). According to We Party Patriots,
drivers voted to authorize a strike after contract negotiations failed to yield guarantees of reasonable, safe shifts.  Under their current contract, drivers are forced to be on duty for up to 12 hours while only working and getting paid for part of that time. 
The drivers took to the picket line March 17th.  The bus system’s 9,700 daily riders, which includes 2,000 school children, must make alternative plans until a contract can be reached.  In spite of the inconvenience, over 70 students from Burlington High School joined the drivers in solidarity on the picket line.  They were joined by members of other area unions.  One student, Sabine Rogers, explained why she joined the picket line: 
We’re trying to make a public show of support for our drivers, who bring more than 60 percent of us to and from school each day. This is for the kids whose parents don’t have a car to bring them to school. We realize the strike is going to be hard for everyone, but we support the drivers’ demands and hope management will change.
Read the whole story here. To support our striking brothers and sisters, go to their website here or  post a message of solidarity on their Facebook page here.