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More On The Possible Bus Driver Strike

October 15, 2009
tags: First Student, labor unions, strike, Teamsters
by Brett

Willie Smith, president of Teamsters Local 891 that represents bus drivers in Hinds County, Madison County, Yazoo County, and West Point school districts, said the drivers will operate through Friday but can’t guarantee anything after that.

Smith said that they should have the right to strike if there is not a deal by the end of the week. There is about 400 drivers in total. As I mentioned yesterday, they joined the union last fall. This is their first contract, and will be for four years.

The issue lies with the hourly rates with the union asking for an 80-cent increase per hour and First Student offering 20-cents per hour. What makes this so difficult is that the local school districts are responsible for the transportation, but they are relying on an Ohio-based company to negotiate the contract.

I imagine the bus drivers were not warned about this before they voted to join the union.

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