Durham Bus Drivers Vote Overwhelmingly in Favor of Becoming Members of Teamsters Local 330


Durham Workers Choose Teamsters Union

School Bus Workers Persevere, Win Long-Fought Battle for Representation

Press Contact

Galen Munroe


School bus drivers, aides and mechanics with Durham School Services in Elgin, Illinois, have taken a major step toward gaining fair treatment and respect on the job, voting by a near 2 to 1 margin to join Teamsters Local 330. With this victory, the workers celebrate the culmination of more than two years of hard work to join the Teamsters, efforts which were impeded along the way by legal action and attempts by the company to keep the 260 workers from gaining representation.

“We have never been more ready for this. It was a long road, but this was the ray of sunshine at the end of it,” said Kim Wrightson, a Durham driver in Elgin. “I’m looking forward to a more tranquil workplace, with less friction, as well as more job security and work rules that are followed.”

The Durham workers were tireless in their efforts to become Teamster members. They persevered against intense efforts by the company to obstruct their freedom of association. The workers’ rights were repeatedly violated through captive audience meetings and the distribution of anti-union materials by Durham, the North American subsidiary of National Express Group, a transportation company based in the United Kingdom.

“When Durham came in, all the benefits we previously had were taken away,” said Russ Harris, a former driver with Durham who started a previous campaign to form a union with the Teamsters in Elgin. Harris recently gave up a well-paying Teamster job, and worked on his own time to complete his mission – to improve the lives of his friends and former coworkers by helping them gain Teamster representation.

“I told them before that I was leaving Durham, but not leaving them. I would be there when the time came to help them make a better life for themselves,” Harris said.

According to Dominic Romanazzi, President of Local 330, due in great part to the company’s delay tactics, it took nearly two years for the workers to get to an election and eventually vote 149-83 in favor of Teamster representation.

“In all my years as a unionist, this is the longest battle I’ve experienced,” Romanazzi said. “I’m so proud of them to have kept going and to have kept up the support in the face of obstacles. They fought a long battle, but ultimately prevailed.”

“These workers are role models for what workers in this country can do when they stick to what they know—that they should be treated fairly and justly. They never backed down, and with assistance from all levels of our union, were able to gain strong Teamster representation,” said John T. Coli, President of Teamsters Joint Council 25.

Also critical to the success of the Durham workers was the support of key political leaders on the Kane County Board, including John Fahy (21st District); State Representative Ruth Munson (43rd District); and Senator Michael Noland (22nd District), who met with the workers, issued a letter of support for their organizing efforts, and met with the company management to protest their anti-union tactics. Additionally, the workers held numerous rallies and garnered media attention for their determination to organize with the Teamsters.

This victory is the latest in an effort to organize private school bus and transit workers across the country. Drive Up Standards is a national campaign to improve safety, service and work standards in the private school bus and transit industry. Since the campaign began in 2006, more than 14,600 workers have become Teamsters.

Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States and Canada.




Over one hundred (100) people attended Local 330’s Support Rally for Durham Bus Drivers, Aides and Mechanics on Wednesday January 21, 2009. (Below are some pictures of our rally)

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