Workers Join Effort to Improve Safety at Durham School Services Yards Nationwide
With more than 85 percent of the bargaining unit participating in the election, drivers and monitors at Durham School Services in Wright City, Mo. have voted overwhelmingly to join Teamsters Local 610.
”Despite Durham’s attempts to scare and confuse these workers, they stayed strong and they stayed united,” said Michael Lieser, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 610. “We are proud to call them Teamster brothers and sisters and we will remain united as we negotiate a contract that raises standards, improves safety and addresses the needs of these workers.”
Barbara Schaffrin is a driver that’s been with the company for nine years, and her coworker Tashennia McCarty has been with Durham for three years. McCarty and Schaffrin both said that safety and competitive wages were two of the biggest concerns.
“We want the same pay for everything we do, not different pay scales for different routes,” McCarty said. “We also want our buses to be safer than they are for our children and our community. We’ve been through the worst, now we can make things get better – we have a voice now.”
“Two things we’ll be fighting for in negotiations are pay increases across the board and safer buses,” Schaffrin said. “I’m just so glad we finally won, I broke down in tears I was so excited.”
The Wright City group joins more than 6,500 workers that are already represented by the Teamsters at Durham School Services and their parent company, National Express. Teamsters Passenger Transportation Director Rick Middleton congratulated the group on their achievement.
“We are proud to welcome the workers in Wright City into the Teamster family,” Middleton said. “We are committed to raising safety standards in the school bus industry, and we know from experience that busses are safer when workers’ voices are heard.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.