CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – School bus drivers and monitors who work at Durham School Services voted to join Teamsters Local 327. The 269 workers will join thousands of other Durham employees nationwide already represented by the Teamsters.
From the beginning of the nearly yearlong organizing effort, safety issues have been at the top of the agenda. Drivers and monitors started organizing after a tragic 2016 school bus accident took the lives of six school children.
“After the accident, the drivers and monitors were concerned because there were still serious safety issues and the workers didn’t feel like they had a voice. That has been a big part of the organizing effort,” Local 327 President Joe Bennett said. “What we saw on the buses, it just affected the drivers, monitors and students.”
Other workplace issues were also important, such as wages, benefits, seniority and an end to favoritism on the job. Durham actively pressured workers not to join the union, creating division and hostility in the workplace. However, the support and encouragement from the IBT and Durham school bus workers from all over the country played a major role in the victory.