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Good news for UAW 5287 and Thomas Built Buses

Jeremy Sprinkle
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112 workers recalled to meet demand

The workers at the Thomas manufacturing plant in High Point, who are represented by United Auto Workers Local 5287, got some good news earlier this month. Due to increased demand and a backlog of orders, Thomas recalled 112 laid-off workers who will leave the unemployment line for the factory line beginning in February.

"It is very refreshing to be able to call back our laid off brothers and sisters and give them good news," said John Crawford, president of UAW Local 5287, in a press release announcing the good news:

"Together the company and union have been working very hard to build an affordable, quality product while at the same time providing good paying jobs with great benefits. More local jobs put more money back into the community and help support small businesses in the area." Crawford added, "Beyond the work we do, it’s exciting to see our kids on our buses on North Carolina roads."

When workers who were receiving unemployment insurance benefits go back to work, they are able to spend more feeding and clothing themselves and their families, buying cars and homes, and paying taxes to support public services.

"We are extremely pleased to be ramping up production and making these hires," said Kelley Platt, president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses:

"Even in a tough economy, school districts must provide quality, reliable transportation for students. We are thrilled that the state recognized the value of Thomas Built school buses and that we won a spot on its 2012 supplier sheet. As the year progresses and orders are made, we hope that N.C. school bus professionals will choose high-quality, locally built buses that aim to provide them with the best possible operational cost savings during the life of the vehicle."

The sale of 12 Thomas Built buses, on average, provides a job for one person for one year, and the sale of 1,000 buses provides employment for 83 people for a year. Furthermore, Platt says increased business for Thomas Built Buses means increased economic activity for all of North Carolina as the company buys materials and parts from local suppliers.

On average, $28,000 of the purchase price of each bus stays in the Carolinas, and Thomas builds between 10,000 and 15,000 buses every year. That adds up to be as much as $420 million pumped into our state's economy.

Founded in 1916, Thomas Built Buses, a division of Daimler Trucks North America, is the leading manufacturer of school buses on the continent. Daimler also operates unionized manufacturing facilities in Cleveland, Mt. Holly, and Gastonia.

You can support the union workers at Thomas Built Buses by contacting your local school board and telling them to "Buy school buses made in North Carolina by North Carolina parents for North Carolina students in North Carolina's public schools."