Seventeen drivers with the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program in Augusta voted Monday to form a union and affiliate with the International Association of Machinists District Lodge 4.

In a news release, Peter Nielson, of Winthrop, one of the drivers, said he voted to form the union so drivers would have more influence in agency decisions and to improve working conditions and services for their clients.

“Our experience as drivers can now be a part of the formal decision-making process and that will strengthen the organization and help better serve our passengers,” Nielson said. “When our working conditions and when our job descriptions are up for discussion, we want a seat at the table.”

KVCAP is a nonprofit community action program that provides a range of services across the region, including heating assistance, parenting classes and transportation services to low-income residents to medical appointments, drug treatment and work.

The drivers at KVCAP will form a bargaining committee to negotiate a first contract with the nonprofit.

The International Association of Machinists represent workers in the public and private sector throughout Maine.


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