Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Nicholas Juravich

Second Advisor

Jane Becker

Third Advisor

Pat Reeve


This thesis is both a history and an examination of the formation of the Boston School Bus Drivers Union, situating their formation in both the labor movement of the 1970s and desegregation. Thrown into the midst of the storm of desegregation the drivers are set up for failure by the Boston School Committee. Forced to unionize due to unsafe working conditions and pay cuts, the unique make-up of the drivers allow for the success. Filled with community organizers, feminists, anti-war protestors, anti-racists, members of the LGBTQ+ community, leftists, and socialists, they use new tactics, willing to challenge established union leadership and traditional organizing tactics. Their resounding success allows for the formation of one of the most militant rank-and-file unions to this day. Utilizing oral histories with members of the union this thesis attempts to bring their story to light for the first time.