July 31, 2014

Bus ops, rail prop vote SMART on same day

In representation elections held May 15 on both bus and rail properties, the SMART Transportation Division came out on top, keeping the Organizing Department’s 2014 undefeated streak alive. Yet another division of First Student bus operators has joined the SMART fold as Kansas City, Mo., school bus drivers overwhelming selected SMART over both the International [...]

First Transit operators at U. of Tenn. go SMART

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Campus shuttle operators for the University of Tennessee’s transportation service chose the SMART Transportation Division as their collective bargaining representative in a representation election April 16. Of the approximately 50 eligible voters, 26 voted for SMART, 10 voted for no union representation and 13 chose not to participate in the election The operators transport students, [...]

Alabama railroad votes SMART representation

Train and engine service employees on Birmingham Terminal Railway – a Watco property – have voted to be represented by the SMART Transportation Division. Rich Ross, SMART Transportation Division’s director of organizing, thanked Alabama State Legislative Director Neil Elders and International organizers Mike Lewis and Calvin Studivant for their efforts. Also assisting in the organizing drive were [...]

Rails created early bus lines

Calvin Studivant

By Calvin Studivant, Alternate Vice President, Bus Department –  The relationship between railroads and bus companies has a long history not known by many UTU members. Beginning in the early part of the 20th century, railroads began acquiring or creating infant bus lines to extend their passenger networks to where rails didn’t reach. In 1926, Great [...]

Bus Local 172 turns back Teamsters raid

UTU-represented school bus operators in Upper Darby, Pa., and members of UTU Local 172, turned back a raid by the Teamsters, voting overwhelmingly to keep the UTU as their bargaining representative on this First Student property. The UTU’s ability to negotiate industry-leading contracts, process grievances and achieve workplace safety improvements were cited by many members [...]

What are these conservative lawmakers thinking?

Calvin Studivant

By Calvin StudivantAlternate Vice President, Bus Department When reading about the conservatives’ attack on mass transit in the House of Representatives, all I can ask is, “What are they thinking?” With gas prices rising to record levels, even low-wage workers who own an automobile can’t afford to drive to work; and for the millions of [...]

Big pride in bus, transit victories

Morr, Bonnie.2011

By Bonnie MorrVice President, Bus Department The UTU has gained a new First Transit property in Farmington, N.M., which is now in Local 1687 out of Albuquerque. Contract negotiations have begun. We also are in the initial stages of organizing some 200 workers on a transit property and a light rail property in Southern California. [...]

MLK advocated economic opportunity, trade unions

Dr. King

By Calvin StudivantAlternate Vice President, Bus Department As we follow the demonstrations of the 99 percent against the greed and wealth of America’stop one percent, I am reminded of a 1967 speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in which Dr. King advocated a transformation “from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society.” Each day jobs [...]

Charlotte bus drivers have new UTU contract

bus; CATS; CATS bus

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Members of UTU Local 1715 have ratified a new agreement with Charlotte Area Transit by a three-to-one margin. The new contract provides for wage increases, freezes employee contributions to health care insurance, restores travel time, adjusts work rules as sought by the membership, and adds a retiree health care plan. Negotiations were [...]

Court orders FMCSA to consider UTU concerns

Calvin Studivant

By Calvin StudivantAlternate Vice President, Bus Department In late August, a federal appeals court vacated the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s final rule requiring electronic onboard recorders. The court said the rule does not sufficiently protect drivers from being harassed by employers to remain at the wheel when they are fatigued. The final rule was [...]