WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- School bus drivers and monitors with Illinois Central School Bus in Waukegan, Ill., have voted to join Teamsters Local 777 in Lyons, Ill., standing strong throughout a hard-fought campaign for respect and justice from the employer. There are 220 workers in the bargaining unit.
"We are excited and very happy that we now have the opportunity to make things better here with our union. We needed this," said Roberto Rodriguez, a driver who has worked at the facility since 1982.
"We need better treatment of drivers and monitors and a better relationship with the company. I'm just glad that with the help of the Teamsters and the employees we were able to pull together and unite for a new beginning at Illinois Central," said Rodrick Booker, a driver.The Waukegan workers had voted in a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election in May 2012 at the same time as four other Illinois Central locations. The four locations, which included 264 workers, all voted in favor of Teamster representation. The Waukegan workers lost their election by a vote of 86-90. Teamsters Local 777 filed more than 20 unfair labor practice charges and seven objections to the election. The NLRB found merit in the charges and advised the company that they would pursue a bargaining order. The company came to a settlement agreement to reinstate two workers who had been fired during the campaign—Roberto Rodriguez and Rodrick Booker—with full back pay, compensate seven other workers with back pay owed to them and have a re-run election. In the lead up to the re-run election, Teamsters Local 777 was forced to file unfair labor practice charges against the company for its continued anti-union conduct.