According to a news release from Westport's school bus provider, "the pending expiration of the labor agreement between school bus drivers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and Dattco, Inc. brought the comment from Dattco officials, “ the company will work around the clock if necessary, to reach agreement with the Union prior to the September 30th expiration of the Labor contract. “Dattco has held the Westport Board of Education transportation contract since 1997.
“Our highest priority is ensuring that Westport school children have safe and reliable transportation to and from school each and every day” said Dattco Chief Operating Officer Cliff Gibson. “We have done our part to meet regularly with Union officials to resolve contract issues, and we will continue to meet over the weekend, to keep our drivers – whom we highly respect – behind the wheel.”
Gibson emphasized that Dattco brought a federal mediator into negotiations earlier this week to help facilitate discussions and reduce outstanding issues in a fair and timely manner. In the event that negotiations could not be completed by the deadline, Dattco has offered to continue negotiating under a temporary contract extension, to ensure that Wesport’s children are safely transported to their schools.
“We are open to alternatives that will keep our dedicated employees working, and will provide uninterrupted transportation services to the students and families. We remain hopeful that dialogue will continue between the Union and Dattco and that both parties demonstrate a commitment to act in the best interest of the children and their families. It is our intention to bargain in good faith and reach a settlement, so that there will be no interruption of service when school opens on Monday. We will continue to strive to ensure that is the case. “
Established in 1924, Dattco is a family owned business headquartered in New Britain, Connecticut. With over 1400 employees and 19 office, terminal and service facility locations, Dattco is one of the leading transportation companies in New England. www.dattco.com