Wednesday, May 6, 2015

London Calling: Teamsters lead UK symposium on National Express

Teamsters, former NLRB Chair support monitoring program at National Express.
Teamsters are in London this week calling on National Express Group, the U.K.-based parent company of Durham School Services, to honor the rights of their North American workers by voting on Resolution 22, a proposal that seeks to address serious labor relations concerns through the implementation of an independent monitoring program. 

At a symposium Tuesday night in London, a panel of academics, community and faith leaders discussed the benefits of having an independent review at National Express Group. On the panel was Stanford University Professor William Gould, former chair of the U.S. National Labor Relations Board under President Bill Clinton, who discussed his role monitoring the U.K.-based transportation company FirstGroup. From 2008-2011, Gould brought transparency to the U.S. school bus transport market, which resulted in a public recommendation to the company on issues of freedom of association. He told audience members of the benefits gained by having oversight:
What we did at FirstGroup was let employees know what their rights were and set up a procedure and system so they could avail themselves of these rights.
Also in attendance at last night's symposium was Dot Scott, president of the Charleston, S.C., chapter of the NAACP. Scott detailed her years of experience standing up for Durham school bus workers and Teamster members to work to improve conditions at Durham, concluding: 
What I’d like to see is the company value and respect its employees. There needs to be an independent party to address the issues at this company, and that is what Resolution 22 will accomplish.
The symposium comes just one week after 32 members of the U.S. Congress sent a letter urging the National Express Board of Directors to institute an independent review of Durham. 

Support in the U.K. has been overwhelming too, with more than 30 Members of Parliament recently putting forth an Early Day Motion, condemning the anti-trade union activities of National Express.