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TheStreet Open House

Illinois Central School Bus Workers Overwhelmingly Approve Agreement

Teamsters in Waukegan Secure Workplace Protections and Improvements

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- School bus drivers and monitors in Waukegan, Ill., have ratified a four-year agreement with Illinois Central School Bus by an overwhelming 6-1 margin. The agreement improves working conditions and secures job protections for the more than 200 workers, who are members of Teamsters Local 777 in Lyons, Ill.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100127/IBTLOGO)  

"The main thing we wanted is protection, to have the union to help us solve problems," said Rodrick Booker, a driver who was on the negotiating committee. "We negotiated quickly and made a lot of progress in our contract."

The agreement includes wage increases, as well as additional holidays and benefits. The drivers and monitors will also receive a two-percent retention bonus on every hour that they worked in the previous year.

"This group got a strong contract because we already negotiated a master agreement for Teamster members at Illinois Central. We laid the groundwork and the company felt the urgency, that they needed to take these negotiations seriously," said Jim Glimco, President of Local 777.

In December 2012, Teamsters Local 777 and Teamsters Local 179 members overwhelmingly approved the first-ever master agreement with Illinois Central, the fifth-largest provider of school bus transportation in the United States.

The historic agreement improved working conditions and secured job protections for more than 600 Teamsters who work at Illinois Central. The agreement covers any future Illinois Central workers who join the Teamsters.

Economic terms and additional workplace improvements are negotiated in supplemental agreements with each individual Illinois Central location, as was done in Waukegan.

The Waukegan drivers and monitors were undeterred in their efforts to achieve a strong contract, rejecting the company's initial final offer before voting overwhelmingly on the current contract.

The workers also stood strong during their campaign to organize with the Teamsters. They voted in October 2012 to join Local 777 in a re-run election, after Local 777 filed more than 20 unfair labor practice charges and seven objections to a May 2012 election. The National Labor Relations Board 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 hold the re-run election.

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