School bus drivers roll with Teamsters
By Mike Nolan email@example.com September 28, 2012 9:50PM
Alpha School Bus in Crestwood. | Larry Ruehl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 1, 2012 6:39AM
Drivers and bus aides at Alpha School Bus Co. in Crestwood have voted to be represented by Local 777 of the Teamsters, the union said Friday.
About 270 employees were eligible to vote.
Alpha’s parent, Cook-Illinois Corp., had said that Alpha workers were being represented by an employee-led union called the Executive Board and that Cook-Illinois had been attempting to negotiate with that union to reach the employees’ first-ever contract with the firm.
The Teamsters claimed the Executive Board was a “fake” union, but Cook-Illinois said the National Labor Relations Board previously had ruled that it was legitimate.
The Teamsters said 139 workers opted for representation by Local 777, while 56 voted to continue with the Executive Board and 16 did not want to be represented by either.
The Teamsters had described Alpha workers as toiling under conditions of poor wages and benefits, while Cook-Illinois, in a statement, maintained that Alpha employees enjoy benefits that are “highly competitive” and drivers and aides receive annual wage increases that “are higher than the national average.”
Cook-Illinois, headquartered in Oak Forest, operates 19 bus lines, including Illinois School Bus and Kickert.