102 of the 105 workers requested secret-ballot election to determine whether to remove the union from their workplace
Monroeville, PA (June 13, 2014) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Gateway School District bus drivers have won the right to a secret-ballot vote to determine whether if they want to remove the union from their workplace.
The bus drivers will finally have a chance to vote on June 27, 2014, after driver Robert Williams and his coworkers petitioned the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for the secret-ballot election four times.
In July of last year, Student Transportation of America, Inc. took over bus services at the Gateway School District. Student Transportation of America then recognized Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1729 union officials as the drivers' monopoly bargaining representative after a majority of their workforce was hired from the previous, unionized student transportation contractor.
After eight months of failed negotiations, 102 of the roughly 105 bus drivers signed the fourth petition they filed with the NLRB asking for a secret-ballot election to determine whether or not to keep the union bosses as their exclusive representative. ATU union officials moved to block the workers' petition, arguing that not enough time had passed for the workers to request an election. On May 8, an evidentiary hearing was held in Pittsburgh, at which Williams was represented by Foundation attorneys.
Late last week, the NLRB Regional Director ruled in favor of the workers' request for the election, which has been scheduled for June 27.
"Transit Union bosses repeatedly blocked these bus drivers' attempts for a secret-ballot election to determine their union representation, even though nearly every single one of them expressed their desire for one," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "This case underscores the need for Pennsylvania to become a Right to Work state making union affiliation and dues payments completely voluntary."
Twenty-four states have Right to Work protections for workers. Recent public polling shows that nearly 80 percent of Americans support the Right to Work principle of voluntary unionism.