More than 1,000 workers at a Long Island school bus company are threatening to go on strike as early as Thursday morning as they demand higher wages and safer work conditions.
About 800 school buses in a dozen Long Island school districts may be affected if the 1,200 Baumann and Sons Buses employees go on strike, reports Newsday.
Among the workers' demands are yearly wage increases. Most of the company’s employees now make between $11-14 per hour.
The president of Teamsters 1205, the union that represents Baumann and Sons workers, says that’s just not enough.
“A person driving a school bus, delivering the most precious cargo there is, should not have to worry about how to feed their own children and keep a roof over their own heads,” Timothy Lynch said.
The company’s drivers work with all types of students, but specialize in working with special needs.
Baumann and Sons will meet with the union and a mediator Wednesday afternoon to discuss the workers’ demands. But if they can’t reach a deal, the employees will go on strike as early as Thursday morning, just days into the new school year.
The prospect of a strike has upset some local parents who rely on school buses to get their children to class.
“I think that’s crazy,” mother Lauren Palmese said. “I think that there’s a ton of parents that work. There’s enough issues getting people to take care of your children in the morning.”
Baumann and Sons did not provide comment Tuesday night.