Teamsters Take Demands For U.S. Workers' Rights To National Express Group
BIRMINGHAM, England, March 27, 2013
-- U.S. School Bus Workers Join UK Trade Unionists
BIRMINGHAM, England, March 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Teamster school bus
drivers who work at National Express Group PLC (NEX: LN) rallied with British
members of Unite the Union outside the company's headquarters today, demanding
the multinational transport company honor the human rights of its North
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100127/IBTLOGO )
The drivers expressed their concerns over what the union believes are National
Express's anti-worker, anti-union policies in its North American operations,
which includes Durham School Services L.P. ("Durham") in the U.S. and Stock
Transportation in Canada.
They delivered a letter from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa to National
Express Group Chief Executive Dean Finch, calling on National Express to
better respect the rights of its workers. Read the letter at
"It is deeply concerning when a United Kingdom-based public limited company
engages in conduct that violates U.S. workers' rights and deprives them of
decent working conditions and respect. National Express's subsidiaries should
be operating in the pursuit of the highest standards, not failing to uphold
the human rights that should be afforded to all its workers throughout the
world," Hoffa said.
Sebrina Isom, a former Durham driver and member of Teamsters Local 509 in West
Columbia, South Carolina, USA, came to England for the second year in a row.
The 25-year school bus driver traveled there to speak up for U.S. school bus
"We are here to hold this company accountable. In my view, their anti-worker
behavior has to stop," Isom said. "We transport children, we work hard and
it's not too much to ask that National Express take more responsibility and
treat us with fairness and respect."
"I believe National Express has earned the reputation in all its operations as
being the most hostile of the big British employers toward its employees,"
said Tom Cashman, a National Express driver and shop steward from the South
East coach station.
The delegation of Teamster school bus workers is meeting this week with major
National Express stakeholders -- union leaders, investors and political
leaders -- about the company's negative human rights and labor relations
record in North America.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which oversees U.S. labor law,
issued 57 informal complaints since 2001 against Durham. These complaints
resulted in settlements.
The complaints came as a result of charges by Durham workers, including
disparate treatment, discipline and discharge of employees engaged in union
organizing; surveilling workers engaged in union activity; and threatening
workers with reduction in benefits, working conditions and the loss of
employment for supporting unionization.
Durham recently filed objections with the NLRB to the union election in Santa
Rosa County, Florida, USA, despite a strong vote in favor of unionization by
the workers. The company claimed that the NLRB held no authority to
investigate or hold a hearing, relying on a recent court decision -- a theory
that the Teamsters believe would disenfranchise the workers. The NLRB's
decision is pending.
"We voted overwhelmingly to have our union, but the company is not respecting
our decision," said Diane Bence, a Durham driver from Santa Rosa County who
traveled to Birmingham, U.K. "Durham told us they would respect our vote, but
that was before we voted. After the vote, the company didn't respect what the
majority of us wanted."
National Express is the second-largest operator of school bus services in
North America. The Teamsters represent 4,700 National Express workers. The
company reports that 94 percent of the U.K. work force is covered by a
collective bargaining agreement, as compared to only 32 percent of its North
American work force.
Drive Up Standards is a global campaign to improve safety, service and work
standards in the private school bus and transit industry. For information on
the Teamsters Drive Up Standards campaign, go to
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million hardworking men
and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit
www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and
"like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters .
Contact: Kara Deniz, +1 202 497 6610, firstname.lastname@example.org or Shaun Noble,
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