Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(8,361 posts)
Thu Jul 13, 2023, 09:44 AM Jul 2023

Unionized Workers at Blue Bird Hit the Next Hurdle: a Contract

An assist from Biden administration electric bus subsidies helped pave the way to victory at a plant in right-to-work Georgia. But workers say tensions with management have grown.


JULY 13, 2023

Last week, the newly formed union at electric school bus maker Blue Bird’s plant in Fort Valley, Georgia, held its first bargaining session with management, two months after workers voted to unionize with the United Steelworkers. The two sides set ground rules for the upcoming negotiations, which could take several months and even years, given recent precedent with employers. Management agreed at least in principle to set up a process to redress worker complaints before reaching the first contract and also to let USW safety experts conduct a walk-through of the worksite.

The company recognized the union back in May, after an election that was hailed at the time as a victory for the Biden administration’s efforts to try to encourage union membership at companies receiving industrial-policy subsidies. Blue Bird was awarded almost a billion dollars by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2022 to expand its electric school bus fleet.

So far, Blue Bird has complied with the bargaining procedure. But inside the plant, workers say they’ve faced a more hostile environment from managers since the vote, including modifications to company policy.

Excerpt: “It’s about damn time they got a union at Blue Bird,” said Kim Jones, in her late fifties, who, like other lifelong Fort Valley residents, pronounces the name of the company with a drawl like “Blue Berry.”


( Never give up. )
Latest Discussions»Editorials & Other Articles»Unionized Workers at Blue...