Hands Off the School Bus Union 5!
For nearly 40 years, the Boston School Bus Drivers, hard working women and men from our communities , have proudly provided safe, on time, professional service to the students and parents. They are parents and grandparents of students themselves. The overwhelming majority are from Boston’s communities of color, African American, Latin@ and immigrants from Haiti, Cape Verde and Vietnam. This Union worked hard against Company/City racism and to assure that the workforce reflects the diversity of Boston. USW Local 8751 has an exemplary record of fighting and winning some of the best wages, benefits, and dignified working conditions for its members, as well as providing rock solid advocacy.
Equally important is the fact that throughout it’s over 38 year history Local 8751 has stood in solidarity with Labor and Community struggles for Justice throughout the City, the region, the nation and the globe. They have marched, rallied, picketed in support of NYC School bus workers, Verizon telephone workers, postal workers, Teamster dispatchers, Union Painters, Columbian Coke-a-Cola workers, and in virtually every labor struggle of import since the union’s formation. They aided workers to organize into unions from Eastern Bus to Boston taxi drivers and Hotel workers. From day one, the union has fought alongside the community for Equal, Quality Education and against efforts to re-segregate the schools. The bus drivers stood firm in fighting against school closings and cutbacks and for Safety for the Children. The Union busters think they can destroy this union. WE WON’T LET THEM!
On June 18, 2013 Veolia, a global corporate giant known for anti-people, anti-union practices, signed an agreement to honor USW 8751’s contract. Since July 1, they have illegally violated nearly every section and sought to overturn 35 years of collective bargaining progress. There are massive and chronic payroll shortages; overcrowded and untimely routes which sacrifice safe, on time transportation; across the board failure to provide correct benefits; and a general refusal to abide by the terms and conditions of the contract. Nearly 100 individual and class action grievances have been filed. In early September, the Union filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board. Still this arrogant company refused to honor the contract.
On Oct 8, the drivers reported to work and requested a meeting with Veolia to demand that Veolia honor their contract. This was a protected, unfair labor practice activity. Despite the fact that Veolia’s top brass and the top officers of BPS were in the yards from 4:30 AM on, the company refused. Instead, at 11:00 am Veolia initiated an illegal Lock Out of the drivers, a violation of the contract and federal law. There never was a wild-cat strike on Oct 8, nor any threat of one since. The fear mongering, phony panic forced upon Boston’s parents, orchestrated by the Mayor and BPS, is irresponsible and designed to drive a wedge between the union and the community. They will fail.
On Oct. 9, Veolia suspended Vice President, Pension Administrator and key benefits advocate Steven Gillis and Chair of the Grievance Committee and local founder Stevan Kirschbaum. Within days, they also suspended Recording Secretary and Chief Steward Andre Francois; 3 time former Local President and Steward Garry Murchison; and Steward and Local founding member Richard Lynch. The discriminatory targeting of these particular leaders represents a calculated effort on the part of Veolia and Mayor Menino to break the organizational backbone and infrastructure of the union. On November 1, Gillis and Kirschbaum were fired.
For decades this union has stood with us, Labor and the Community. Now it is time for us to stand with them! An Injury to One is and Injury to all!
All out for Solidarity Day Nov. 9th.
Say NO to Veolia/City Union busting.
Hands off the 5!
Reinstate Gillis and Kirschbaum immediately!
How you can support the Boston School Bus Union 5:
Tell them “Honor the School Bus Drivers Contract! Hand off Local 8751 leaders!”
Send copies to the Committee to Defend the School Bus Union 5 at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Hold a solidarity activity, if possible at a Veolia location near you, or.
Come to the Boston SOLIDARITY DAY Rally outside Veolia’s corporate offices on November 9, 1 PM, Dorchester Ave and Hoyt St., Dorchester, MA
3. Send solidarity letters and resolutions to the Committee to Defend the School Bus Union 5 at email@example.com
4. Send your endorsement of the Committee to Defend the School Bus Union 5 to firstname.lastname@example.org..
5. Donate to the support fund. (account being set up.. Go to bostonschoolbus5.org or find Team Solidarity on facebook at tinyurl.com/d5tntcg for more info)
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