Over the years, drivers have sometimes been abused and taken advantage of partly because it is what we love to do. A true driver cannot just up and say “hey I think I’ll just be a bank teller, sell real estate or used cars, or work for the phone company tomorrow”. It is the independent nature of being out on our own thinking for ourselves running the show without a supervisor sitting there looking at us that we thrive on. It’s about getting around and not sitting at a desk all day or looking at the same walls week after week. Being a Bus Driver is a particular taste with tons of public contact, but for some of us it's just a great driving job.
From the days when my Grandfather worked long days into the night out of Jack London Square in Oakland, California (Teamster's Local 70), when there were only Ferry Boats before the bridges were built, to today when big rigs carry so many olden day loads at once moving so much faster than any horse or Model A Ford truck could ever go, companies have tried to get more for less from us. If they could, they would have us drive day and night seven days a week only to just shoot us like an old lame horse when we can’t drive anymore. If they could, they would still have children in sweatshops working their fingers to the bone and shortening their lives for pennies a day (Unions put a stop to that). If they could, they would live in a mansion on a hill while we slept in our trucks and vans and buses until it was time to roll again. If not for Jimmy Hoffa and the many people who fought to make The Teamster’s Union what it is today, life expectancy of a driver would be fifty or sixty, or less.
The Union began in hard times and we continue in hard times now to make sure life in America is good. Those of us who like driving a bus for a living deserve respect and reasonable accommodation so that we can do our jobs safely and well and make a decent living. Those who believe that cutting benefits, wages, and pushing drivers to cut rest breaks are good ways to save money are a curse on the industry and vocation of driving, and accidents and incidents end up costing more than the initial savings anyway in my opinion.
So I love to drive a bus. Does that mean I have to suffer?
This was supposed to have a snappy inspirational ending, but that did not come to mind.
….just say what you will here and write what you want to…
Mostly I just feel like my Union job as a Transit Bus Operator is the only bus driver’s Teamster’s Union Shop in the world.
Where are all the bus drivers?
(and my Grandfather did look like Robert De Niro, not me :-)...the photo is from "A Bronx Tale" with De Niro as a bus driver.
Last edited by moocher; 05-19-2010 at 09:45 PM.
Reason: remove company name, for now.