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Boston school bus drivers rally for union leader

Lawyer argues charges against union chief should be dismissed

Members of the Boston school bus drivers’ union filled Dorchester District Court Monday in support of Steve Kirschbaum, a union leader charged with trespassing and assault following a June rally.

Kirschbaum’s lawyer, Barry Wilson, said the charges were trumped up and the bus company was “using the courts to resolve a labor dispute.”

“This is nothing more than an attempt by the company to use the courts to resolve matters that should be before the NLRB,” he said, referring to the National Labor Relations Board. “The courts are being abused.”

He asked that the charges be dismissed. Prosecutors said they should go forward.

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Although they operate city-owned buses, drivers are employed by Transdev, an Illinois-based company that oversees the city’s four bus yards.

The drivers’ union has been locked in contentious negotiations with the company for several months. But prosecutors said the matter was unrelated to the labor strife.

They said union members broke into a building and that the defendant pushed a table into a woman who was trying to prevent them from coming in. She and another person then locked themselves in an office “afraid of what they might do,” the prosecutor said.

Union members said they were allowed to be in the building and that they entered without incident.

The judge said he would review the defense motion and set a hearing for Oct. 6.


Peter Schworm can be reached at schworm@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globepete.