Blue Bird workers vote to join United Steelworkers union

May 15, 2023
The workers cited concerns like workplace safety, compensation, and work-life balance as reasons for voting for unionization.

Approximately 1,400 workers from Blue Bird Corporation’s Fort Valley, Georgia, facility have voted to join the United Steelworkers union (USW). The workers cited concerns like workplace safety, compensation, and work-life balance as reasons for voting for unionization. Blue Bird, which makes a variety of school buses including low-emission and zero-emission models, was recently approved to receive funding from the EPA’s Clean School Bus program. According to the USW, Blue Bird’s unionization efforts are one of the most significant recent organizing efforts by manufacturing workers in the South

In a recent quote, USW District 9 Director Dan Flippo said, “For too long corporations cynically viewed the South as a place where they could suppress wages and working conditions because they believed they could keep workers from unionizing. Our union has a long history of fighting on behalf of workers in the South and across the country. Now as members of the USW, workers at Blue Bird have the same opportunity to make positive changes in their workplace.”

In a statement, President Joe Biden said, “Congratulations to the workers at Blue Bird in Fort Valley, Georgia, on their vote to unionize and join the United Steelworkers. The men and women at Blue Bird are building electric school buses that are powering America’s clean energy future, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and ensuring our kids breathe cleaner air. The fact is: the middle class built America. And unions built the middle class. That’s why my Investing in America Agenda is about creating good-paying jobs – jobs that don’t require a four year degree, jobs you can raise a family on. Jobs where you get a free and fair choice to join a union.”