June 1, 2012
Texas Public Employees join the TWU:
TWU welcomes 67 new members this week after employees of Durham School Services in Weatherford, Texas voted to join TWU, the first Durham site in the state to unionize.
The school bus drivers, monitors, and maintenance workers voted 49-14 on May 25 to join the local after being subjected to on going safety issues and company policies that support unfair treatment on the job and no sick days among other issues.
“We now will have our voices heard,” said Lori Kitts, a bus driver with Durham for the past two years who also assisted with the organizing.
Kitts, like others, were unfairly treated after correctly following procedures about reporting incidents to the company and then being falsely blamed for not reporting them. They also lost their sick days after Durham took over.
Not wanting Durham to go away, but to be treated fairly and to have a voice, the workers approached TWU in March to start the union drive. With in days of meeting with a TWU organizer cards were signed and the work began with the dedicated workers.
Those dedicated workers also faced numerous intimidation and fear tactics from the company, such as bulletin boards with ficticious information about unions and the threat of losing wages and benefits.
However, the workers educated themselves and stayed informed while educating each other to successfully join TWU.
TWU International will continue to work with the new members as they work towards their first contract.
Durham School Services, operates more than 13,900 school buses and serves more than 350 school districts in 30 states across the country.
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