Cape school bus drivers join union

Thursday, January 28, 2010 ~ Updated 5:10 PM

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been changed to reflect that drivers with the Scott City school district have not unionized.

Correction

School bus drivers from Scott City, Poplar Bluff, Mo. and Clarkton, Mo. did not unionize as indicated in an article in Thursday's Southeast Missourian.

A statement from the Teamsters union said First Student workers in Cape Girardeau, Scott City, Poplar Bluff and Clarkton joined the union on Tuesday. Those towns referenced locations of First Student bus yards where votes to unionize occurred, said Galen Munroe, spokesman for the union.

The 55 drivers and aids who joined the union work in the Cape Girardeau School District, he said. The district contracts bus services with Cincinnati-based First Student. The Scott City School District owns its bus fleet and employs the bus drivers.

Original story modified with correction

School bus drivers in Cape Girardeau have unionized to lobby for better wages and working conditions.

Drivers and aids for First Student, a company that contracts bus services with school districts, made the agreement Tuesday, according to a release from the Teamsters union.

Dave Bruckerhoff, a business agent for Local 600 in Cape Girardeau, said 55 workers joined. "This is a hard-working group that's been terribly underpaid and who've had to deal with favoritism in their workplace. We're thrilled to be able to represent them," he said in a release.

Maureen Richmond, a spokeswoman for the Cincinnati-based First Student, said the company supports the workers' rights to unionize. She said First Student will work with the unions and workers to iron out any labor issues.

"We certainly feel as though we provide an excellent wage and benefits package," she said.

Calls to the Teamsters union were not returned.

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