1 Mar 2010

First Group are paid $55.50, but drivers only get $9.50

Bus drivers at the University of Alabama (UA) are considering a strike after rejecting the latest pay offer from First Transit, a subsidiary of First Group.
“The employees are fed up and want to strike, but we have to have a plan on what to do,” said Kenneth Kirk, international vice president of the Amalgamated Transit Union.
About 62 drivers voted unanimously in May 2009 to join the union, complaining of low wages compared to routes managed by First Transit. The drivers at UA are paid $9.50 an hour. They also receive no pay on university breaks and holidays.
UA pays First Transit $55.50 per work hour, or $1.8 million for about 32,400 hours annually, according to the contract between UA and the company.
Kirk called the disparity between what UA pays the company and what the company pays drivers ridiculous, and said a strike is likely to be the only way drivers can get what they want.
“Strikes are effective,” he said. “When you have a company that practices greed like we have here, they’ll listen to a strike.”

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