Letters: Green Mountain Express pro-union
In a recent news story in the Bennington Banner, is has been reported that the employees at Green Mountain Express wish to form a union to bargain with their employer. Citizens and taxpayers of Bennington County, and riders of Green Mountain Express in Bennington should ask why this private nonprofit, Green Mountain Community Network Inc. and their board of directors decided that spending thousands of it’s dollars (that I might add are either collected through Federal and State transportation grants or Medicaid dollars to provide transportation services to the community of Bennington and it’s surrounding area) to hire what they describe as an "educational consultant" that in reality works for a union avoidance firm. Is this a wise use of those funds? This certainly appears to be an interference with the employees rights to decide if they wish to form a union in their workplace.
In fiscal year 2013, Green Mountain Community Network Inc. received $1,177,215 in State and Federal funds to operate Green Mountain Express.
The question has been asked if any federal or state grant funds were used to hire the "educational consultant." If they were this could be a violation of state law, which states that grant funds cannot be used to interfere with or restrain the exercise of an employees rights with respect to unionization.
The company’s manager has admitted that the funds of the nonprofit, which in fact belong to all the community members in the Bennington community, have been used for obvious coercion and intimidation of their employees’ right to organize a union. Did Executive Director Baker or the Board President Sharyn Brush ask your opinion as to how they should be spending your local community’s transportation services dollars? Does this sound like a good use of these funds on behalf of the citizens of Bennington County and the ridership of Green Mountain Express?
Employees have also been required to attend paid meetings in small groups with this "educational consultant." This is another example of a waste of public funds.
The employees, taxpayers, and citizens of Bennington County deserve better from Green Mountain Express management. Call Donna Baker at Green Mountain Express at 802-447-0477 and tell her to stop wasting your public funds on a union avoidance firm. Call your Selectboard member at 802-442-1037 or contact your state representative or state senator listed below: Rep. Brian Campion, 802-753-7705; Rep. Timothy Corcoran, 802- 447-0929; Rep. Anne Mook, 802-442-5028; Rep. Mary Morrissey, 802-442-2092; Rep. Bill Botzow, 802-447-7717; Rep. Cynthia Browning, 802-375-9019; Rep. Jeff Wilson, 802-362-3786; Rep. Alice Miller, 802-442-9825; Sen. Robert Hartwell, 802-345-1552; Sen. Dick Sears, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teamsters Local 597
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