SEATTLE, Wash.—Teamsters Local 174 and the First Student school-bus company met with a federal mediator Feb. 8 in an attempt to settle a week-old strike by 400 drivers. The drivers want health care with lower deductibles and copayments that covers people who work less than 30 hours a week; First Student has offered to pay 80% of premiums. “We are hopeful that this meeting will bring us closer to a resolution,” Local 174 said in a statement. On Feb. 7, a half-day of school, teachers from the Seattle Education Association who got out early joined the bus drivers on their picket lines at First Student’s two depots. Meanwhile, the company has been advertising for part-time drivers, offering $15 an hour and a $1,000 signing bonus, with no experience necessary. A Teamsters spokesperson charged that First Student is also offering bus drivers $50-a-day bonuses to cross the picket lines. The company’s buses carry about 12,000 students a day. Read more


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