Bolt Drivers Ratify New Contract

The agreement takes drivers from their current driving rate of $23.34 to $25.25 in four years.  It also reduces the number of wage rates to just two.  The non-driving rate tops out at $13.75 and gets drivers much closer to the eventual goal of being paid a single rate for all time spent at work.  There are several other improvements in the new deal, which goes into effect on March 5.  Complete contracts will be mailed to each member when they are ready to be printed.  Meanwhile, for further details, attend your next Bolt union meeting.

There are now 145 Bolt drivers working out of New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle.  Eighty-one members voted.  42 voted to ratify the agreement and 36 voted against.  Three ballots were void.

Our Bolt brothers and sisters have come a long way since the original 2008 Bolt addendum to the Greyhound drivers contract:  Bolt drivers have gained seniority rights over the entire Greyhound system.  The ridiculous method for paying drivers based on the number of passengers carried was eliminated.  Higher pay, more time off, and better work rules have been won. 

Nevertheless, we still have a fight ahead of us enforcing the new contract terms and preparing for our next round of bargaining.  To be successful, we must reject any attempts at dividing us.  With the new contract in place, we now need to come together and show the company that we are united in our determination to make Bolt a fair and just workplace.

“The agreement brings Bolt drivers closer to the goal of being paid at one hourly rate for all time spent at work,” said President Jimmie McCoy. “It positions the union to win one rate of pay for all work in the following contract.”

Bolt drivers voted down two earlier contract proposals last year. In Los Angeles, driver Tim Boswell said West Coast drivers generally supported for the tentative agreement all three times. “It’s good to have a contract again,” Boswell said.

Philadelphia steward Leslie Seeney said she voted in favor this time partly because of improvements. For example, she was against paying the driver on a deadhead run the same hourly rate as a driver “cushioning” on the same bus.

“That has been fixed,” Seeney said. “Now the driver in the cockpit will get the $20-something driver’s rate and the cushioning driver will get the $13.75 layover rate. It’s only fair.”

Seeney said she also changed her opinion as she learned first-hand about labor-management relations. She thanked McCoy for taking the time to answer her questions and put the agreement’s terms in context.