04 Nov Boston Schools Open One Hour Early Due to Strike
Two drivers were fired as a result of the Veolia Transportation Inc. driver strike over one month ago. This has lead to a shortage of drivers, and has also left a lot of parents with no way to get kids to school. The best solution was to open the schools one hour earlier, so that parents can drop kids off before heading to work.
What happened? Why did the drivers suddenly strike?
On October 8th, bus drivers took a stand for what they considered unfair treatment. The drivers argue that working conditions altered and not negotiated by the driver union, and that the integration of GPS trackers has made it hard for drivers to take small breaks.
The company had installed GPS trackers in order to provide drivers with faster and better routes to schools. But, drivers argue that the trackers did not find better routes. Instead, drivers are stating that the trackers have made it harder to get kids to school on time. As a result, drivers are on strike and bus lines aren’t running.
Even though the buses are back to their scheduled routes, parents and city officials are concerned there could be another strike. The union that represents the city’s bus drivers has tried to assure the public they needn’t worry, that the strike was conducted by what they called “rogue employees.”
Two were fired in connection with the strike, after five were suspended. The contracts of the city’s bus drivers explicitly state that strikes, slowdowns and stoppages of any kind are against the rules. Furthermore, if union members participate in a strike or stoppage, they can be terminated immediately.
Union officials were in the midst of working with Veolia after union members had filed a complaint against the company. In all, there were over 50 grievances filed with the union. Besides the GPS trackers, there were issues with last minute schedule changes that decreased the hours the drivers worked, rude treatment, and payroll inconsistencies.
If you learn anything from Veolia Transportation, it is this: if you integrate a GPS tracker into your fleet, think carefully about what system you use. Choose GPS trackers that are truly beneficial, will save time, and will allow your drivers necessary breaks.
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