Bruce Hamilton to Take ATU International Position

            Message from Bruce Hamilton: 

            ATU International President Larry Hanley has always had among his highest priorities working on the issues of over the road bus workers.  President Hanley has now asked me to concentrate more of my time on those issues, so he has appointed me to the position of International Vice President.  The appointment is effective March 1.  So it is time for a brief summing up of where we are and where I think we need to go.

            The Local 1700 Executive Board has stuck together extremely well during these past several years.  We remained united no matter what was thrown at us.  We have a right to be proud of our accomplishments, the latest of which is a ground-breaking contract for Greyhound drivers and mechanics that achieves all the major goals of the Local 1700 membership.  By May 1st we should have all the work back that had been subcontracted out – a huge increase in jobs.  And within a few short years Greyhound drivers will finally – for the first time ever - be paid for all work time.

            These are very good achievements.  But we will not have completed our work until we have won the right to the best medical care fully paid under a national, single-payer plan, and until we have restored our right to a pension for when we become too old to continue working.  We must redouble our efforts to fight back against the lowering of standards.    

            It is not just the rights and conditions of Greyhound workers that have been under constant attack for the past 30 years.  There has been and continues to be a general onslaught against working people carried out by the owners of big business.  Our union must stand together with all other unions and with the working class generally in an organized fight back to regain what we’ve lost and to fight for higher standards.  We are the overwhelming majority of society.  Society ought to be structured to benefit us, not the one-tenth of one percent of the population that controls the wealth.  Economic democracy will only be won if we put aside whatever differences we have and fight for what is rightfully ours.

            My life-long commitment to that fight continues and I’ll now have more time to spend advocating for the interests of Greyhound and other over-the-road bus workers.  I am leaving the leadership of Local 1700, but I will continue to be available to help the local and the members in any way I can.