PERRIS, Calif. – Bus drivers and mechanics of Southland Transit here have voted “UTU, yes” by an almost four-to-one margin.
This is the 23rd organizing victory – air, bus and rail — for the UTU since January 2008, an average of almost one new property organized every seven weeks.
“In these difficult economic times, it takes courage to vote against management’s wishes,” said UTU Bus Department Alternate Vice President Bonnie Morr, who led the organizing drive. “These 136 dedicated and previously unorganized workers reached out to the UTU and we will provide the resources necessary to negotiate a wage, benefits and working conditions contract they can be proud of.”
Southland Transit is a community transit operation serving the disabled and elderly in the Southern California counties of Riverside and San Bernadino, providing transportation on demand and over fixed routes.
Working with Morr on the organizing drive were General Chairperson (BNSF, GO 20) John England, UTU Local 1496 Secretary and Treasurer and Vice Local Delegate Chris Hubbell, and UTU Local 23 Vice Local Chairperson and Delegate Eduardo Montesino.
Assisting was Southland Transit employee Gary Miller, whom Morr said “worked tirelessly and with great determination to organize his fellow workers and bring home this victory.
“This was a very difficult process,” Morr said. “It was a second election following a successful appeal to the National Labor Relations Board that the employer had engaged in improper conduct during the first vote. The workers persevered.”