LISTEN: GPB's Grant Blankenship talks with a bus factory worker about unionization.

Workers at the Bluebird bus factory in Fort Valley, Ga., have approved their very first union negotiated labor contract.  

Bluebird Manufacturing has enjoyed financial windfalls now that the Middle Georgia factory is one of the leading U.S. builders of electric school buses.  

That’s one reason Bluebird workers voted to join the United Steel Workers Union a year ago.   

Now under a new contract backed by workers and the company, there will be ways for workers to share in the good times with benefits like profit sharing, matching 401k contributions and a pay scale giving low paid workers’ wage parity with more highly paid peers.  

Delushundra Thomas works in the paint shop and was a contract negotiator.  

“This is a huge win for the South,” she said. “People down here don't really organizing. It has other companies looking at where we've achieved to see if they'll be able to do it at their facilities.” 

The Bluebird contract will be good through May of 2027.