Positive outcomes for union workers as bus strike ends

DALTON, Ga. (WDEF) — The bus strike in Dalton has finally come to an end.

The strike lasted all week. Dalton City Schools first announced on May 12 that the strike was happening, and they would have virtual classes this past Monday.

Bus drivers with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) voted and came to an agreement to end the strike on Friday.

Out of the strike came a new three-year contract between First Student and ATU. They say this includes wage increases, paid vacation days, a retention bonus, a strong grievance procedure, a better seniority system and more.

ATU says nearly 40 employees began striking on Monday. They claim First Student was violating federal laws and was not cooperating with the union.

First Student has long been a contractor with Dalton Public Schools. However, bus drivers newly decided to join the union in December.

ATU says they were bargaining for a contract with First Student until last week. They say that’s when First Student took away summer employment from their workers and refused to continue bargaining until September. That is when the striking started.

“I am proud of our Dalton School Bus members and the solidarity, resolve, and unity they showed on the picket lines this past week,” said ATU International President John Costa. “The result was a strong contract that recognizes the commitment and dedication of these workers to safely transport their students to and from school and other school activities. Thank you to all our members and our allies who showed up on the line.”

Categories: Dalton, Featured, Local News, Whitfield County