Friday, January 30, 2015

Anti-Union Buses

Teachers Beware of Anti-Union Bus Companies
By Jim Vail

Latino Express bus company is against unions and has fired bus drivers unfairly.

One of the more memorable educational experiences for school children is going on field trips. 

I scheduled a trip to the Field Museum and I decided to Google a bus company we use all the time called Latino Express. Then rather than direct me to their contact info., I read this glaring headline:

"Latino Express Bus Drivers Still Fighting for Rights in Chicago."

I read that Latino Express has spent oodles of money in one legal battle after another to prevent their bus drivers from unionizing and fighting against unlawful terminations of bus drivers.

I called the Teamsters Local 777 who are fighting this company to ask what was going on. They said Latino Express is a particularly vicious company that spends unlimited funds to fight their workers, even though they lose every time.

The National Labor Relations Board ordered Latino Express to bargain in good faith with the Teamsters after Latino fought in the courts to prevent this.

"These drivers first sought representation with the Teamsters in 2011 because of company mistreatment, and management's vindictive and heartless behavior hasn't stopped," said James Glimco, president of Local 777, in a press release.

According to the Teamsters press release, after the drivers first unionized following four months of election delays initiated by the company, Latino has refused to pay lost wages to two unfairly fired drivers who were reinstated by the NLRB. NLRB also ordered Latino Express to reimburse workers for federal taxes owed on any outstanding wages following a termination and reinstatement, which Latino has appealed as well.

So I would like to tell my colleagues and fellow delegates to beware of vicious anti-union, anti-worker companies all around us who we patronize on behalf of the children.

Latino Express has been a subcontractor for the Chicago Public Schools for 17 years, managing about 85 bus routes throughout the school year.

I called another bus company instead. We all need to do the same and say no to Latino Express and union busting! 

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