March 17, 2014: Teamster bus drivers were joined by 150 community supporters on the picket lines in Burlington, Vt. this morning.
The Teamster Local 597 members work for the Chittenden County Transportation Authority. Riders include many public school students, and they stand with the drivers.
Students gathered in below-zero temperatures this morning to rally and picket with drivers. Then they marched together to school.
CCTA drivers are united for a contract that provides good full-time jobs to bus drivers and safety for drivers and the public. They voted 54-0 to reject the “last, best and final” offer from their employer and to strike the CCTA.
Community groups, unions, and the public are uniting in support of the drivers. “I Love My Bus Driver / CCTA Fair Contract Now” lawn signs are going up across Burlington.
Burlington High School students collected signatures from more than 500 students—half their school—in support of the drivers and workplace dignity and delivered them at a City Council hearing jammed with community supporters.
School teachers are sending support petitions too. There have been community speak-outs, press conferences, and practice picketing outside of contract negotiations.
CCTA’s efforts to pit riders against the public have hit a dead end thanks to these savvy organizing efforts.
The public stands behind Teamster bus drivers and Local 597 members and so do we.
What’s at Stake?
- SAFE & REASONABLE WORKING CONDITIONS: Management wants to extend the length of split-shifts. This extension of already long hours raises obvious issues for everyone on the road.
- FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT: Management wants to bring in more part-time workers. Drivers do not want to see full-time jobs being turned into part-time work. We want our drivers to have livable jobs.
- PREDATORY MANAGEMENT: CCTA drivers are constantly spied on, followed, and threatened with suspension for small issues. They want a contract that will protect them from disciplinary abuse.