Smithfield school bus drivers authorize strike


SMITHFIELD, R.I (WPRI) — Bus drivers for the Durham school services voted unanimously to go on strike at their Smithfield yard Monday.

General Teamsters Local 251, which represents thousands of bus drivers, monitors and aides in Southern New England, said on its social media page that the last straw leading up to the strike vote was a meager wage increase offered by Durham.

The union also said workers in Smithfield are among the lowest-paid school bus employees in Rhode Island and that Durham has committed unfair labor practices.

“Hopefully the company has gotten the message loud and clear,” the union wrote. “The workers love working with their students and hope the company doesn’t force them to strike in order to be paid what other workers in the same field get paid.”

Three more bargaining sessions with a federal mediator are scheduled. The first of these meetings is set for Nov. 12.

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