At an event organised by the Teamsters union, several school bus drivers employed by Durham – a National Express subsidiary – spoke out about poor working conditions at the company.
"Durham has been swapping our newer buses for the aging buses of another yard [garage] so they can stay compliant there, but we have at least one to several buses breaking down every day," said Ernie Talbott, a driver at the Livermore garage. "Where's Durham's commitment to safety and providing quality services?"
"I'm concerned about a lot of things," said Linda Aguiar, a 25-year Livermore driver. "We don't have paid sick leave and the health insurance Durham offers is too expensive for most drivers to afford, so they go without. It's a large portion of our meagre earnings to have coverage if we get sick."
"This is a highly profitable company, but drivers are struggling to survive and support our families. For us this isn't about being comfortable; it's about our survival," said Maria Lopez, a driver at the Hayward garage. Durham is the second largest provider of school bus transportation services in the United States.