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Seattle school bus drivers prep for strike at First Student

The following is fr0m Teamsters Local 174:

IBT-first-studentSEATTLE (Feb. 19, 2014) — Teamsters Local 174 represents more than 450 school bus drivers who transport K-12 students for the Seattle School District and are preparing to strike over unfair labor practice charges after First Student broke off talks and walked away from negotiations.

“First Student has taken positions on issues at the bargaining table that are absurd,” said Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks. “Not only are they attempting to force through proposals that we believe are illegal, but they are also attempting to dump the cost of employee health care on to the taxpayers through the Affordable Care Act.”

Teamsters Local 174 was certified to represent the First Student drivers on June 20, 2013.  Since then, the 450 drivers have been working to secure their first contract. The election victory was obtained after First Student was found guilty by the National Labor Relations Board of committing a series of labor law violations.

Teamsters Local 174 will be doing all we can to communicate with parents within the district so they will have time to make alternate plans to get their children to and from school. If First Student continues to put revenues, almost exclusively from taxpayer dollars, ahead of the medical insurance and retirement benefits for their employees the union vows to do what is necessary to ensure benefits for its members.

First Student is a North American Division of First Group with over $2 billion of revenue annually.

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