Whose money is it - Talks break down between Local Union 91 of the Teamsters Union and Stock Transportation



    
    "The Union is extremely disappointed; we put our best foot forward and
    addressed every outstanding issue inclusive of wages"
    

    KINGSTON, ON, April 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Talks between the Teamsters and
Stock Transportation broke off late last evening. The parties met to address
the Mechanics agreement first, and then the drivers. While a tentative offer
was achieved between the Union and the Mechanics, the Drivers agreement still
remains unresolved.
    "The Union is extremely disappointed, we put our best foot forward and
addressed every outstanding issue inclusive of wages" stated Union President
Brian MacDonald. The Company refused to move on its offer of .24 cents per
year commencing in September of 2009, in reality their final offer remains
unchanged.
    After the breakdown of the talks, the Union reviewed correspondence it
received in reference to the strike. A Teamsters school bus driver employed by
another Company working under the Tri-Board received a letter from Steve Wowk,
Chief Executive Officer of Tri-Board Student Transportation Services Inc., the
company which ultimately contracts work to Stock Transportation. The letter
states:

    The Ministry of Education conducted a benchmark study on the cost of
    operating a 72 passenger school bus which you have a copy of. As set out
    in the benchmark study there are hourly driver rates noted from 2007-08
    to 2008-09 being $11.70 and $11.93. After the wage enhancement of
    $10 million the hourly rate has gone to $12.57. This is based on a
    4 1/2 hour route with "key on" to "key off"...

    In other words, the enhancement funds are and have been paid out to our
    Operators over the past few years. Even though we are paying out more
    money than the benchmark study, we did include a 3% increase to driver
    wages in our 2008/09 transportation formula.

    Stock drivers with two years experience are currently paid $12.00 per
hour. This is a clear .57 cents short of the Provincial benchmark and even
further behind the rate that Tri-Board allocates to Stock for wages - and this
is not accounting for the 3% increase that was allotted to driver wages in
2008-2009. In fact, it appears from the Tri-board's letter that the Tri-board
gives Stock the equivalent of $13 an hour to be allocated for drivers' wages.
Stock has not passed this on to the drivers.
    At bargaining, the Union was prepared to accept a wage rate of $13 per
hour - no more than what Stock receives from Tri-board for the drivers' wages.
The Company flatly refused, and was not willing to move above $12.24
commencing in September. Although $12.24 is a move from the three year wage
freeze they have been trying to ram down our throats, it is well short of what
is fair.
    Where have these excess monies designated to driver's wages been going
since September 2008? There certainly needs to be a public accountability for
these funds. The public pays taxes, and indirectly driver's wages which
somehow are being diverted - Stock needs to step up to the plate.
    Stock reports profits of $60,000,000.00 in North America. Clearly Stock
is getting rich off the backs of our drivers. This is simply not fair. The
drivers are suffering and the public is suffering. Stock has the money to pay
us. It seems intent on keeping our wages in its pocket.
    The Union immediately sent correspondence this morning to Stock
Transportation demanding an explanation and a meeting to discuss the
correspondence. At this time, the Union continues to await the Company's
response.

    The Teamsters Union represents 125,000 members in Canada in all trades.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is
affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.




For further information:

For further information: Brian MacDonald, president of Teamsters Local
Union 91, (613) 247-9191; Stéphane Lacroix, directeur des communications de
Teamsters Canada, (514) 609-5101; www.teamsters91.ca

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Teamsters Local Union 91

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