Illinois Central School Bus Workers Choose Teamsters
The men and women who transport schoolchildren for Illinois Central School Bus recently voted to join the Teamsters Union. Drivers and monitors in Channahon, Ill., voted on May 9 to join Teamsters Local 179, and on May 11, drivers and monitors in Mt. Prospect, Ill., voted to join Teamster Local 777. There are 80 workers in Channahon and 63 workers in Mt. Prospect.
“We’re really happy that we are going to be able to change our work environment for the better,” said Kayra Medina, a driver at the Channahon yard.
“We need a voice, and the Teamsters can provide that for us,” said Brandon Holland, a Channahon monitor.
School bus workers at the Mt. Prospect location united over many of the same concerns as their co-workers in Channahon. They cited a need for respect and fairness in their workplace as factors leading to their decision to organize.
“We need fairness in how we are treated, how we are paid and how our work is distributed. This is why we needed to come together and unite,” said Wade Peters Jr., a driver from Mt. Prospect.
The latest victories for workers at Illinois Central were made possible through the joint efforts of the workers, the International Union, Joint Council 25 and Locals 179 and 777.
“Teamster members from nearby school bus yards provided a lot of help. They went above and beyond the call of duty to provide support for the workers that were organizing. It was really a win for the whole group,” said James T. Glimco, President of Local 777 in Lyons, Ill.
“We welcome the drivers and monitors to the Teamsters and look forward to negotiating a contract to better their working conditions,” said Tom Flynn, President of Local 179 in Joliet, Ill.
“We’re proud that over the past few weeks, hundreds of Illinois Central school bus workers decided to become Teamsters to better their working conditions,” said John T. Coli, Teamsters International Vice President and President of Teamsters Joint Council 25.
Illinois Central is the fifth largest private school bus company in the United States, operating a fleet of more than 3,400 school buses, vans and other student transportation vehicles.
Since April 27, 264 Illinois Central school bus drivers and monitors have become Teamsters, voting in elections in Coal City, Wilmington, Channahon and Mt. Prospect.
The victory is the latest in an effort to organize private school bus and transit workers across the country. Drive Up Standards is a national campaign to improve safety, service and work standards in the private school bus and transit industry. Since the campaign began in 2006, more than 34,000 drivers, monitors, aides, attendants and mechanics have become Teamsters.
For more information on the Drive Up Standards campaign, go to www.driveupstandards.org.