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US bus drivers hit streets of Brum to protest against 'human rights breaches'
Teamsters from National Express Group join members of Unite outside firm's Birmingham HQ
US-based bus drivers took to the streets of Birmingham with their UK counterparts in an international show of strength over alleged breaches of human rights in America.
Teamster school bus drivers from National Express Group rallied with members of Unite outside the company’s headquarters in Digbeth demanding the international transport company honour the rights of its North American workers.
The drivers claim National Express operates ‘anti-worker, anti-union’ policies in its North American operations, which includes Durham School Services in the US and Stock Transportation in Canada.
They delivered a letter from renowned Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa to National Express Group chief executive Dean Finch, calling on it to better respect the rights of its workers.
Mr Hoffa, the son of infamous Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa, said: “It is deeply concerning when a UK-based public limited company engages in conduct that violates US workers’ rights and deprives them of decent working conditions and respect.
“National Express’s subsidiaries should be operating in the pursuit of the highest standards, not failing to uphold the human rights that should be afforded to all its workers throughout the world.”
Sebrina Isom, a former Durham driver and member of Teamsters Local 509 in West Columbia, South Carolina, said: “We are here to hold this company accountable. In my view, their anti-worker behaviour has to stop. We transport children, we work hard and it’s not too much to ask that National Express take more responsibility and treat us with fairness and respect.”
Tom Cashman, a National Express driver and shop steward from the South East coach station, said: “I believe National Express has earned the reputation in all its operations as being the most hostile of the big British employers toward its employees.”
And Diane Bence, a Durham driver from Santa Rosa County, (Teamster Local 991 member) said: “We voted overwhelmingly to have our union, but the company is not respecting our decision.”