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News :: Labor
Boston School Bus Drivers Protest Illegal Government Attack on Union Contract
18 Nov 2004
Boston School Bus Drivers Protest Illegal Government
Attack on Union Contract

Press Conference: 10:30 AM - Thursday, Nov. 18, 2004
Charlestown bus yard, 305 Medford St. (1 block from
Charlestown High School)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 17, 2004

Contact:
President Steve Gillis - 617 733-2950
Vice President Frantz Mendes - 617 524-7073
Grievance Committee Chair Selwyn Bynoe - 617 524-3507

Boston School Bus Drivers Protest Illegal Government
Attack on Union Contract

Press Conference: 10:30 AM - Thursday, Nov. 18, 2004
Charlestown bus yard, 305 Medford St. (1 block from
Charlestown High School)

Today, the Boston City Council initiated a full assault on
labor rights, Unions, and the process of private collective
bargaining. The council took the unprecedented and illegal
action of denying the appropriation to fund the private
collective bargaining agreement accepted by the
Steelworkers International Union with the private, and
highly profitable, school bus management firm First
Student, Inc. To add insult to injury, the City Council
voted to attempt to force the anti-labor Global Positioning
System (GPS) on the Union drivers, after the company and
Union agreed to a contract specifically excluding the
contentious spy devices.

It must be noted that the Boston City Council took these
measures over the strenuous objections of Boston's true
friends of working people, Councilors Chuck Turner, Felix
Arroyo, and Charles Yancey.

Local Union President Steve Gillis said of today's vote,
"The Bush/Haliburton administration and corporate America
in general have a true friend in today's majority of
Boston's City Council. The Boston School Bus Drivers'
Union will fight with every means at our disposal this
illegal attempt by anti-labor forces on the City Council to
side with the bus company in tearing up our the Union
contract before the ink is even dry."

"Council president Flaherty, the Education Committee's de-
facto chair Tobin, Councilors Feeney, Murphy, Ross, and
others, along with the mayor, have campaigned for the past
year to return to the racist and segregationist model of
neighborhood, walk to schools, a model which the
communities of Boston who use the public schools, largely
communities of color, have rejected in public hearings
throughout the city, in favor of spending the city's
resources on improving equal, quality education for all
Boston's children. Today's council votes are a thinly
veiled attempt to wreak havoc on the transportation system
and the workers who make school choice and desegregation
possible."

"It is indeed ironic, and in fact hypocritical, for those
who want to force Boston's children onto the streets to
fend for themselves while walking to school, to pose as
advocates for children's safety. Parents, educators,
honest city councilors and the bus drivers' Union have been
advocating for human monitors on the buses, resources to
repair and replace an aging fleet prone to breakdowns, and
anti-pollution devices to ease the epidemic of asthma in
Boston's Black and Latino communities. GPS technology,
where it has been employed, has been used exclusively to
provide unreliable excuses to bus companies to unfairly
discipline hard working drivers and unjustly deny their
rightful pay, while providing no safety benefit whatsoever
to a two-way radio equipped fleet."

"The Boston School Bus Drivers' Union - whose members are
parents and grandparents of Boston children from the
Haitian, Cape Verdean, Puerto Rican, African-American,
Vietnamese and working class white communities - view
today's City Council votes as not only an attack on our
meager standard of living and our Union, but as a racist
affront to the civil rights movement, whose task and goals
of equal, quality education we proudly carry out each
day."
-30-
See also:
http://www.bostonschoolbusunion.org

This work is in the public domain
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Re: Boston School Bus Drivers Protest Illegal Government Attack on Union Contract
18 Nov 2004
Bussing does absolutely nothing to enhance the educational lives of minorities. they are merely being carted off like human chattel and dumped into a community to be babysat and released from school early. They deserve a better education in their own neighborhoods. On Newbury street, bussed blacks are given crayons to use. Ive seen it.
Re: Boston School Bus Drivers Protest Illegal Government Attack on Union Contract
18 Nov 2004
While bussing certainly has a dark history in boston, its not the fault of the bus drivers. Their union is no way responsible for the racists at town hall, nor the idiots at the department of education.
Boston Busing Blame
19 Nov 2004
Don't forget judge Arthur Garrity, who originally ruled that poor blacks and whites had to be bused to schools in each other's neighborhoods, but not to the wealthy white suburbs.