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The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has joined with Teamsters Canada to drive up standards throughout the bus industry in North America, organizing 9,400 workers in 2008. More than 75,000 private and public school bus drivers, monitors, attendants, aides and mechanics throughout the United States and Canada are Teamster members.

This is a diary version of something I posted earlier to the Teamster.org web site -- it is about a very impressive contract agreement that anyone can appreciate.

School bus drivers with Stock Transportation in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, have ratified a strong agreement, following a three-week strike in which 113 members of Local 91 stood together to achieve a fair contract.

These members were determined to achieve a fair collective agreement, one which recognized the skill set necessary to transport the most precious cargo in the world on a daily basis. Through their determination and solidarity they have achieved an unprecedented agreement which has opened many doors in the industry. Their dedication made me proud to be a Teamster," said Brian MacDonald, President of Ottawa-based Local 91.

The three-year agreement provides numerous gains, including:

   * Guaranteed minimum wage increases of 2.5 percent each year of the contract, despite the company’s opening offer of a three-year wage freeze;
   * An unprecedented signing bonus;
   * Seniority rights; the right to recall and lay off by seniority;
   * A fair grievance and arbitration procedure, with union representation at all meetings;
   * Ten statutory paid holidays per year;
   * Minimum guarantee increased to 4.5 hours;
   * No reduced charter rate and charters offered by seniority;
   * Paid time off for medical exams;
   * Language to resolve pay shortages within 48 hours;
   * Bereavement, jury and witness leaves enhanced from company policies; and
   * Many industry-leading advances affecting both drivers and mechanics.

In March, 93 percent of drivers and 100 percent of mechanics voted in favor of strike action and rejected Stock’s contractual offer. The members stood up to Stock for the first time in 50 years to achieve a fair agreement with the company.

Stock Transportation is the Canadian subsidiary of National Express, a United Kingdom-based multinational transport company. National Express operates school bus services in the United States under its subsidiary Durham School Services.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has joined with Teamsters Canada to drive up standards throughout the bus industry in North America, organizing 9,400 workers in 2008. More than 75,000 private and public school bus drivers, monitors, attendants, aides and mechanics throughout the United States and Canada are Teamster members.

Originally posted to Union Review on Fri May 15, 2009 at 01:26 PM PDT.

Poll

Do you believe children are our most precious cargo?

65%21 votes
34%11 votes

| 32 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's unnecessary pedantism, I know, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Union Review

    children aren't "cargo," they're people. I know that the move to dehumanize workers has been going on for decades, shifting people to "human resources" and so on. It's just a pet peeve of mine and I feel comfortable expressing it in this sort of forum. All people, including children, deserve treatment far better than even the "most precious" cargo.

    Also, while it's great to see any organized labor actions end with a successful contract negotiation, the terms aren't exactly sterling, are they? 2.5% pay increase per year? Just how far below cost of living is that? Won't the workers who fall under this contract end up being paid less in three years' time after adjusting for inflation?

    Likewise, ten paid holidays is pretty awesome, but aren't there already nine Federal holidays in Canada anyway, with additional holidays depending on the province you live and work in?

    The point isn't to belittle the struggles of the Teamsters in winning a fair contract for the workers in Canada but rather to pose a question, "Is this a contract worthy of praise?" I don't propose to know the answer, but wanted to at least to ask.

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