Service & Solidarity Spotlight: Georgia Blue Bird Workers Approve Their First Union Contract

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our Service & Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

United Steelworkers (USW) members at Blue Bird Corp. in Fort Valley, Georgia, voted to approve a three-year contract that will provide the more than 1,500 covered workers with at least a 12% raise. Some of the lowest-paid workers at the company will get raises of more than 40%. The contract also requires the company to contribute to a retirement plan for workers, share profits, and improve health and safety.

“Federal investments like these must come with a seat at the table for workers,” said USW District 9 Director Daniel Flippo. “Our union has a long history in the South fighting for better wages and working conditions in a variety of industries, but for too long, corporations and their political cronies have tried to characterize the South as a place where they could run away from unions, cut corners and pay workers less.”

Blue Bird received $40 million in federal aid to build electric school buses, and President Biden said acting Labor Secretary Julie Su helped bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion.