Bus Drivers: Vote on Decertifying Union Fails

Previously reported in the NewsTimes on June 8th:

School bus drivers voted today on decertifying Teamsters Local 677, but the outcome of the vote might not be known for weeks.

A number of the votes cast today have been challenged, according to a press release from All-Star Transportation.


The vote would nullify the contract they voted 48-11 to ratify two weeks ago.

All-Star Transportation offers the moon, but as I said previously, this looks more like classic union busting techniques:
NEW MILFORD -- In the wake of a stalemate Friday over efforts to decertify Teamsters Local 677, it may be weeks before local school bus drivers learn the fate of their pay-enhancement contract with All-Star Transportation.


Mary Boland, a non-union bus driver from New Milford, said "36 voted to put the union out, 40 voted for the union. Two votes were challenged by the petitioner and NLRB, and another seven were challenged by the union."


Non-union drivers said they are hoping they will receive a 5 percent increase next year, with new drivers to earn $12.40 an hour and senior drivers $16.

I say "union busting" because it becoming clearly apparent that some people are doing everything they can to get rid of the union, and stalling the ratification of the contract that the union agreed to with All-Star.

I heard a rumour that All-Star is offering a 401k plan to them if they decertify the union.

First things first: Don't these drivers realize that they will be the ones funding the 401k, and not the company? What a great offer!

And second thing: Considering how the negotiations have gone so far it doesn't look there is much reason to trust All-Star to follow through on any offers, even offers that are meaningless.

And a third thing: Isn't it illegal for All-Star Transportation to be making offers to anyone but the union? (unless this rumoured 401k offer was sent through the union?)

And a last note: The drivers better not put too much hope in getting a fair shake at the NLRB. The bush administration has been stacking the NLRB with flunkies guaranteed to deliver to "corporate interests" time and time again.

Nathan Newman writing at TPM Cafe's labor issues arm, House of Labor, pretty much sums up how I feel about statements and actions from companies that are blatantly illegal:

If you wonder why I get angry when folks say nice things about corporate criminal union busters like Wal-Mart, maybe you should read the new report by American Rights at Work which details the extent and severity of that corporate crime wave, a crime wave where tens of thousands of workers are victimized each year with stolen jobs and crushed lives.

As this study highlights, a typical union organizing drive starts with a majority of workers signing cards in support of having a union. Yet in the course of the elections, corporations embark on full-scale illegal assault on their workforce:

  • 30% of employers fire pro-union workers.
  • 49% of employers threaten to close a worksite when workers try to form a union.
  • 51% of employers coerce workers into opposing unions with selective bribery or favoritism.

The end result is that despite starting almost every union drive with majority support, by the time the corporate wave of crime is over, only 31% of union elections end with a vote in support of the union.

I am pretty certain that the same can be said about companies interference in labor contracts after a union has been legally formed and represents employees in contract negotiations. Today's companies will say and do whatever they can to get what they want, and the NLRB has been quite generous in supporting anti-union activities since bush took power. Some people might even think it has been corrupted to the same degree as the Department of Justice has.

No comments: