Strike Update From Stock Transportation



    NEWMARKET, Ontario, April 7 /CNW/ -- Stock Transportation takes pride in
our employee relations programs, our safety performance and our customer
service.  The current strikes by our Kingston drivers and mechanics are the
first work stoppages that Stock has ever experienced in more than 50 years of
providing student transportation to schools throughout Ontario.
    

    
    Last year, Teamsters Local Union 91 campaigned to represent our drivers
and mechanics in Kingston.  During their campaign, the Teamsters made numerous
promises and commitments including the representation that "a great majority
of contracts (approximately 96% of them) are achieved through dispute-free
negotiations" and "contracts are often settled after a strike vote but before
any strike has begun."  In June, 2008, our employees hired the Teamsters Local
Union 91 to represent them in their employment relationship with Stock.
    

    
    Throughout the negotiation process, the Teamsters maintained a wildly
unrealistic demand of an immediate wage increase of 82.5% for the drivers.  It
was not until 2 business days before the start of the strike that the
Teamsters reduced their wage demand to a still unrealistic demand for an
immediate increase of 29% for the drivers.
    

    
    The Teamsters told our employees that, once they went on strike, Stock
would have to give in to the Teamster's demands.  However, Stock has
repeatedly made it clear that there is no chance we can reach a collective
agreement if the Teamsters Union maintains its wildly unrealistic wage
demands.
    

    
    Stock Transportation agrees that our drivers and mechanics deserve to be
paid more than we can afford to pay them.  This is an issue that is common to
the school bus industry throughout Canada.  Unfortunately, this industry-wide
issue cannot be solved by coercing Stock into paying wage rates Stock can't
afford and that would significantly exceed the wage rates paid by other school
bus companies in the Kingston area.  Over the past 3 years, Provincial funding
has provided annual increases of which Stock Transportation has received
increases totalling 7.2% for driver wages while, during this same period of
time, Stock has provided driver wage increases of 22.5%.
    

    
    Teamsters Local Union 91 has contracts with a number of other school bus
companies in the Kingston area.  The wage proposal presented by Stock exceeds
the wage rates Teamsters Local Union 91 has negotiated on behalf of the
drivers the Teamsters represent at these other companies.  Given the fact that
we pay competitive wages to our drivers, it is clear that the Union has
targeted Stock Transportation in an effort to change industry compensation
levels.  Trying to rectify the nation-wide way school bus services are funded
is not fair when it comes at the expense of local employees and the students
we transport.
    

    
    We remain committed to the Kingston area, to our customer the Tri-Board
and the students and parents we serve.  We are optimistic that the Teamsters
work stoppages will end soon so that we can get back to doing what we do best
- transporting students to and from school safely and on-time.
    





    




For further information:

For further information: CONTACT:  Tiffini Bloniarz, Director of
Corporate Communications & PR of Stock Transportation, +1-630-821-5374,
tiffini.bloniarz@nationalexpresscorp.com

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STOCK TRANSPORTATION

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