Teamsters Local 445 Denounces Durham’s Intimidation Tactics
Rock Tavern, NY – Teamsters Local 445 announced today that Durham School Services is attempting to intimidate Hudson Valley school bus workers into accepting a substandard contract offer.
In a letter to Poughkeepsie drivers and monitors dated Jan. 28, Durham management told “park-out” workers that should they vote to reject the company’s contract offer, they should bring their buses to the Durham yard at the end of their work day, rather than to their homes as usual.
“This will create chaos for the workers and their families. It is unclear how Durham expects the drivers to work tomorrow if they don’t allow them to take their buses home as they normally do,” said Lori Polesel, a Teamsters Local 445 representative.
“We believe Durham’s tactics are illegal. They are trying to bully workers into accepting a substandard offer. The Teamsters Union will not allow workers to be bullied. We are thereby filling multiple unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board. We will be rescheduling tonight’s vote because Durham has completely interfered with the vote,” said Adrian Huff, Teamsters Local 445 Secretary-Treasurer.
A date and time for the vote will be announced shortly. Any member that needs a ride to the meeting can call the Teamsters Local 445 office and they will arrange transportation.
Teamsters Local 445 and Durham School Services have had 14 negotiating sessions since June 2012.
“We want Durham to come back to the table and offer the drivers and monitors a fair contract. Their current, substandard offer does nothing to reduce turnover or improve safety,” Huff said. “They are a multimillion dollar corporation and can afford to do better by the workers who transport children.”
“The company needs to get serious with us at the table,” said Jim Pelton, a driver and bargaining committee member. “All we are asking for is a fair deal.”
Durham is a subsidiary of National Express Group, a profitable multinational corporation based in the United Kingdom and the second-largest provider of student transportation services in the United States.