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Mass. Drivers Strike Affects 8,000 Pupils

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About 8,000 public- and parochial-school students in Worcester, Mass., were without transportation to and from classes last week as 122 school-bus drivers continued a strike for union recognition begun Nov. 22.

According to the Worcester superintendent, John Durkin, the system contracts for its bus service from United Truck and Bus Co., based in Providence, R.I., and is not involved in the actual labor dispute. But the superintendent's office is working with the company to help settle the strike, Mr. Durkin said.

Although Richard Foley, business agent for Teamsters Union Local 170, would not comment on the strike, the bus drivers have reportedly requested an election to join the Teamsters local. They have filed an unfair-labor-practice complaint against the company with the National Labor Relations Board.

Company officials could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Durkin expressed particular concern last week over the problems the strike has created for the system's 700 special-education students. So far, he said, temporary transportation has been found for only about half of these students.

The superintendent said, however, that despite the transportation difficulties, attendance in the district has been better than average.--at

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