ACTR drivers unionize; contract to be negotiated

MIDDLEBURY — Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) drivers and mechanics have voted to unionize through the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 597. Workers last week voted 10 to 7 in favor of that action, with one challenged ballot.
A previous union drive initiated last year by ACTR workers failed by a close 9-8 tally.
James Moulton, executive director of ACTR, explained the process that will now unfold.
“Over the next year, ACTR and the union will come together to negotiate a contract,” Moulton stated through an email. “In the meantime, we will continue to operate business as usual.”
Moulton noted that ACTR has, since January of 2014, been managing Stagecoach Transportation Services, which is already unionized.
“I believe the large majority of transit providers nationwide are unionized, so it is not unusual,” Moulton said. “In Vermont, Chittenden County Transportation Authority (Burlington) has been unionized for a long time, Green Mountain Transportation Authority (Franklin, Grand Isle and Washington counties) became unionized in the last month, and Green Mountain Community Network (Bennington) is also unionized.”
Tony St. Hilaire, principal officer of the Teamsters Union of Vermont Local 597, said he is excited to see the ACTR workers join the union. With the addition of ACTR, St. Hilaire believes Local 597 now represents more than half of the state’s public transportation workers.
“We will now work with (ACTR) to secure a contract for those employees,” St. Hilaire said.
Typically, such contracts range in length from one to three years, he said.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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