NEED UNION & ORGANIZATIONAL ENDORSERS TO SUPPORT BOSTON SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS

Drop The Felony Charges On Grievance Chair Steve Kirschbaum

 
If you’ve already done this, your endorsement should be in the list below. We’ve expanded the focus of the statement to include the entire struggle against Veolia. In addition to the endorsements you’ve already made, please think of who can add their name to the endorsers’ list (below). Use the blue links to forward the endorsers’ form. Thanks!
The statement:
Stop Veolia/City Union-Busting Against Boston School Bus Drivers’ Union USW Local 8751
 
Drop Frame-Up Felony Charges On Grievance Chair Steve Kirschbaum
 
Re-Hire Four Fired Union Leaders & Stop Racist Austerity Cuts On Boston’s Schoolchildren
The Boston School Bus Drivers Union, United Steel Workers Local 8751, is a 900-strong workforce of mostly Haitian, Cape Verdean and African American women and men. The heartless Veolia Corporation — notorious for its anti-union practices and reviled for its support of Israel’s apartheid settlements in the West Bank — has been hired by the city of Boston to housebreak this fightback-oriented union and impose austerity cuts in public education.
 
These dedicated, mostly immigrant workers, whose days start before the sun comes up and who safely transport Boston’s most precious cargo to school day in and day out, are fighting for the life of their union and need your solidarity.
 
As it has done with every union contract from Arizona to Sweden, from day one Veolia has aggressively violated almost every provision of Local 8751’s collective bargaining agreement. In October 2013, Veolia responded to a request by union workers to meet by locking them out, falsely accusing the union of leading a “wildcat strike” and using that as an excuse to fire four of the union’s leaders.
 
At the heart of this struggle is the war Veolia is waging on the hard-won wages, rights and benefits the union has won over 40 years. The contract is the envy of transportation unions across the country, and the company has declared war on every provision, right down to how payment is decided (Veolia wants a GPS-generated timesheet) as well as seniority rights, sick leave, disability, health insurance and grievance procedures. Veolia has even targeted the “all past rights and practices” section of the contract for outright elimination!
 
But the union is fighting back. On June 30, the last day of the current collective bargaining agreement, hundreds of union members and supporters participated in a Solidarity Day march and rally, ending with a briefing of the members on contract negotiations in the Drivers’ Room at the Veolia Freeport bus yard. The union contract specifically states all union officials have unlimited access to the property for conducting union business. But Veolia has produced, out of whole cloth, a series of trumped-up felony charges (Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Breaking and Entering to Commit a Felony, and Malicious Destruction of Property) against one of the union’s founders, Steve Kirschbaum, effectively seeking to criminalize union activity. This cannot be allowed to stand! And dozens of witnesses have given sworn statements that the bogus charges against him never happened.
 
This frameup is just the most recent link in an unbroken chain of vile anti-union attacks against the hard-working women and men of USW 8751 and the communities they serve. Along with the attempt to bust the union, Veolia has been complicit in the racist re-segregation of Boston’s public schools; this dismantling of African American and Latin students access to equal quality education via busing, initially mandated by federal court order, is just one aspect of the $100 million in austerity cuts students are facing.
 
Local 8751 has a long, proud history of struggle. It was born under a hail of rocks and bottles thrown by racist mobs in the struggle to desegregate Boston’s schools — and has consistently fought for the broader interests of the working class in addition to the wages and benefits of its members. From the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer struggle to the anti-apartheid campaign to the fight to keep Boston post offices open, this union has always walked the talk when it comes to solidarity.
 
Please join the USW International, Mass AFL-CIO, Greater Boston Labor Council, Coalition for Equal Quality Education, Black Educators Alliance of MA and scores of others in standing against union busting and in Solidarity with Local 8751.
 
RE-HIRE THE FOUR UNJUSTLY FIRED UNION LEADERS!
 
DROP THE CHARGES ON STEVE KIRSCHBAUM!
 
A JUST CONTRACT THAT IMPROVES WORKING CONDITIONS FOR THE WOMEN AND MEN OF LOCAL 8751!
 
STOP THE RACIST AUSTERITY CUTS ON BOSTON’S PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS!
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LET’S GET 100 ENDORSERS BY MONDAY
USE BLUE LINKS BELOW
To email to somebody you think might endorse and forward to others (includes statement) 
 
If you just want to ask someone in person, you can fill this out yourself:
Who we have so far: 

United Steel Workers
United Steel Workers, Local 8751
Charles Yancey, Boston City Councillor
Chuck Turner, Former Boston City Councillor
Myles Calvey, Business Manager, IBEW Local 2222*
UE Local 150, North Carolina Public Service Workers Union
Dave Welsh, Delegate, San Francisco Labor Council*
Michael Letwin, Labor for Palestine; NYC Labor Against the War
Carl Gentile, National Representative, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFL-CIO)*
Coalition for Equal, Quality Education
Shane Hoff, Delegate to the San Francisco Labor Council for UTU 1741, San Francisco School Bus Drivers*
Joe Piett, Community-Labor United for Postal Jobs and Services- Philadelphia
Joe Lombardo, Delegate, Troy Area Central Labor Council*
Johnnie Stevens, Community Labor United for Postal Jobs & Services*
Andre Powell, Delegate, Baltimore Maryland AFL-CIO Central Labor Council*
May 1 Coalition
Sara Flounders, International Action Center
Frank Neisser, Peoples Power Assemblies, Boston
Workers World Party
International Socialist Organization, Boston Branch
Richard Krushnic, SEIU Local 888*
Tiamba M. Wilkerson, Amherst, MA, UMass Amherst PhD Student, GEO-UAW member*
Phil Wilayto, Editor, The Virginia Defender, Richmond, VA
Christine Williams. Former TWU Local 100 Executive Board Member 2010-2012*
Marty Goodman, Former TWU Local 100 Executive Board Member
Charles Clemons, TOUCH 106.1, Boston
Gloria Rubac, Steward, Houston Federation of Teachers Local 2415, Retired*
Minnie Bruce Pratt, National Writers Union, UAW 1981*
Susan E. Davis, National Writers Union, UAW 1981*
Mahtowin Munro, co-leader, United American Indians of New England*
Martha Grevatt, Alternate Shop Committeeperson, UAW Local 869*
Mike Gimbel, Chair, Labor/Community Unity Committee, Local 375, AFSCME*
Moratorium Now! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs
Michigan Emergency Coalition Against War and Injustice
Stop the Theft of Our Pensions Committee
Susan Schnur, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 268*
David Sole, Former President, UAW Local 2334
Autoworker Caravan
Liza Green, Women’s Fightback Network, Boston
Michael Ladson, Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST)