Teamsters Fight For North American School Bus Workers' Rights At National
Express Annual Meeting
LONDON, May 9, 2013
-- Global Alliance Calls for Improved Oversight and Monitoring of Company's
Human Capital Practices
LONDON, May 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Teamster school bus drivers and
representatives from the United States and Canada called on National Express
Group PLC (NEX: LN), a large multinational corporation, to honor and respect
the rights of its North American workers at the company's Annual General
Meeting (AGM) held today in London.
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100127/IBTLOGO )
The company's worker rights record at its North American subsidiaries is under
renewed fire at this year's meeting. A number of key stakeholders are calling
on the National Express Board of Directors to improve the global oversight of
the company's human resource policies and practices.
Unite the Union's OSSF and UASPS funds; the International Brotherhood of
Teamsters General Fund; and the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) are
recommending National Express shareholders vote NO to Resolution 1 on the
Director's Annual Reports and Accounts. PIRC, a leading U.K.-based proxy
voting advisor is also recommending to its clients a vote against Resolution
The action is being taken to send a strong signal for the need for improved
Board oversight and reporting to shareholders of the company's global human
resource policies and practices.
The Teamster delegation traveled to the United Kingdom over serious concerns
about the negative workers' rights and labor relations record at the company's
North American subsidiaries, Durham School Services in the U.S. ("Durham") and
Stock Transportation in Canada. They were joined by colleagues from Unite the
Union, the International Transport Workers' Federation, the National Union of
Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers and the Transport Salaried Staffs'
"We are calling on National Express to act as a more responsible global
company. It's high time all of its North American workers are treated with the
dignity and respect they deserve," said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa.
"I believe Durham shows disrespect and disregard for the drivers and monitors.
Our job is to safely transport children to school, but we face poor conditions
with some of the school buses we operate. I feel like my concerns are not
listened to at all, which is why I came here today, to be heard," said
Latrisha Pringle, a 25-year school bus driver who works for Durham in
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A., and is a member of Teamsters Local 509 in
West Columbia, S.C.
"It's important that people realize that the problems we face in my bus yard
in Navarre, Florida, are not just isolated incidences. I believe there is a
pattern to the way Durham is treating people. We are here today because
National Express's subsidiaries cannot continue to behave this way in North
America," said Diane Bence, a Durham driver and member of Teamsters Local 991
in Mobile, Alabama, U.S.A. "In Florida, we voted overwhelmingly to form our
union in February, and even though Durham said it would honor the election
result, it has not done so and has appealed the results from the National
Labor Relations Board secret ballot election."
Bobby Morton, Unite the Union's National Officer for Passenger Transport,
recently visited Durham school bus yards in Charleston, S.C., and Santa Rosa
County, Fla., as part of an international delegation of trade unionists, and
met with the drivers and monitors.
"I am haunted by the condition of some of the school buses I witnessed, and
what so many workers are going through at Durham in the United States. I
believe the safety and working conditions at National Express's U.S.
subsidiary are appalling and cannot be allowed to continue," Morton said. "I
feel a sense of responsibility to inform the Board so we can act to prevent a
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which oversees U.S. labor law,
issued 57 informal complaints since 2001 against Durham. These complaints were
denied by Durham but resulted in settlements.
The complaints came as a result of allegations 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.
The Teamsters Drive Up Standards campaign to improve safety, service and work
standards in the private school bus and transit industry began in 2006. Since
then, more than 35,000 North American school bus and transit workers have
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
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