Riders, Workers voice concerns on Floundering Baltimorelink

More than 150 angry bus riders, drivers and transit advocates packed the second town hall meeting, organized by Local 1300-Baltimore, to voice their serious concerns with BaltimoreLink, an overhaul of the city’s bus system that has doubled commute times and confused riders. Hospital worker Patricia Whitty’s frustrations echoed many in attendance. “The buses don’t come on time, and it’s not fair to me, it’s not fair to my co-workers,” said Whitty. “I get off at 3:30, I don’t get home until a quarter of six. That is not right.” Gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who is considering running for governor, addressed the crowd. Both criticized Gov. Larry Hogan for cancelling the proposed Red Line light rail line and the struggles of the BaltimoreLink. Read more.


STC bus closure forcing riders to hitchhike

Local 1374– Calgary, AB, warned that the Saskatchewan government’s decision to shutter STC intercity bus service would have a devastating impact on those who rely on the service. Three months after the shutdown some have been forced to hitchhike with no other option for transportation. A University of Northern British Columbia professor, who has been researching hitchhiking along B.C.’s Highway of Tears where a number of women have gone missing or been murdered, says the closure of STC definitely puts lives at risk. “There are dangers out there, particularly in northern, rural, remote settings…if you take away bus service and you put people out on the highway hitchhiking, you could see some really devastating impacts.” Read more.


Boston Carmen’s union honors rider hero

At ATU we hear stories all the time about our members going above and beyond to help riders in need or distress. So, it was inspiring to hear about a Boston bus rider intervening when a knife-wielding passenger stabbed an MBTA bus driver. Local 589-Boston, MA member York Makonnen was on her route when she heard someone scream and pulled over. A man approached her and stabbed her in the back and shoulder. Luckily rider Charles Rozopoulos reacted quickly and wrestled the knife away from the assailant and held him until police arrived. “I was bleeding and thought I would die,’ said veteran driver Makonnen. “I was lucky all my passengers love me and many of them, including Charlie, leaped to save me.” The Carmen’s Union honored Rozopoulos with a party and presented him a black union jacket. Read more.


Palm Tran workers concerned for driver safety after incident

In the wake of a dispute that started on a Palm Tran bus that lead to a shooting outside the bus, Local 1577-West Palm Beach, FL, is calling for increased safety for bus drivers including installing barriers between drivers and riders. This latest incident follows one last April when an irate passenger, who refused to pay his bus fare, was caught on camera assaulting a bus driver. The passenger punched the driver and dragged him off of the bus. The driver is still recovering from his injuries and has been unable to return to work. Over the past 20 months passengers have assaulted 15 and threatened 58 Palm Tran bus drivers. Read more.


Local 689 Warns new WMATA Board Members

As Metro’s two newest board members David Horner and Steve McMillin, Local 689-Washington, DC, members had some advice: don’t believe the hype from WMATA’s leadership. “Since Mr. Wiedefeld became the general manager of Metro, we have heard false claim and false claim,” said a railcar maintenance operator at the hearing. Another worker told the two board members, “The workers and riders of Metro deserve better than a board that listens to no one, makes poor decisions without adequate research, and deliberately chooses to take Metro in the wrong direction…we are here today to ask you to do it differently … Be honest with the public and drive Metro forward.” Read more.

‘Batman’ star Adam West dead at 88

LOS ANGELES — Adam West, whose straight-faced portrayal of Batman in a campy 1960s TV series lifted the tight-clad Caped Crusader into the national consciousness, has died at age 88, his publicist Molly Schoneveld said Saturday.

West died Friday night after “a short but brave battle with leukemia,”

West played the superhero straight for kids and funny for adults. He initially chaffed at being typecast after “Batman” went off the air after three seasons, but in later years he admitted he was pleased to have had a role in kicking off a big-budget film franchise by showing the character’s wide appeal.

“We’re so incredibly grateful for all of the wonderful messages and tributes from Adam’s friends, fans, colleagues, and the media since his passing. It’s an amazing experience to grieve with the rest of the world and the good thoughts and outpouring of support have helped to ease the pain. We know he hears you and feels your love too. Thank you so much.” – The West Family

 

Bylaw enforcement to be beefed up

The city could soon take on a greater role in enforcing hundreds of bylaw violations, possibly speeding up appeals.

A report headed to council’s executive policy committee meeting next Wednesday proposes to allow about 600 more bylaw offences to be enforced under the Municipal Bylaw Enforcement Act (MBEA).

The city says the change should streamline ticketing for citizens and the city.

“There are a few things that make it simpler for people to to deal with … rather than any big court process,” said Michael Jack, the city’s Chief Corporate Services Officer. “Court time and court resources were (previously) scarce and we were still under a process where all of our bylaw offences would go through provincial court.”

Instead of fine disputes heading to court, a screening officer appointed by the city would hear them instead, if EPC and council approve the plan. Appeals of screening officer decisions could then be heard a provincial adjudicator. The report notes the city has dealt with parking offences this way since August 2016.

The report proposes to use the method to deal with many neighbourhood liveability, public transit, responsible pet ownership, vacant buildings and water bylaw violations.

“It simplifies how we can do it. We now have the ability to simply mail out the offence notices. It’s easier administratively to issue the ticket, so the hope is they we can be more efficient with bylaw enforcement,” said Jack.

The city’s public service proposes to report back to council within one year with an implementation plan for municipal enforcement, including how to collect fines long-term. Until that point, the Winnipeg Parking Authority would administer screening and adjudication.

The city doesn’t expect the switch to cost more.

courtesy of Winnipeg Sun

‘Long overdue’: Wheels in motion for Winnipeg’s first transit committee

Now that he’s helping lay the foundations for the city’s first transit advisory committee (TAC), the president of Winnipeg’s transit union is “optimistic.”

It may have taken the city a while to take its first steps towards improving bus safety, but officials are wasting no time taking the next ones with a “long overdue” transit committee.

That’s according to John Callahan, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1505, who has been anxiously awaiting and lobbying for action since February, when a Winnipeg Transit operator was killed on the job.

Operator assaults continued, and Callahan shared concerns with the media that he and ATU members felt there was not enough being done to fix the service’s safety issues.

Then, at the end of May, council’s public works committee approved a variety of safety measures, including the formation of a transit advisory committee (TAC).

Not long after, committee chairperson Coun. Marty Morantz began working with Callahan to set the wheels in motion on forming that group.

“We’ve just been spit-balling, but obviously want to get it together and come up with the term’s of reference for who will be on the committee, what the mandate will be,” Callahan said.

So far, he’s expecting the committee will include representatives from a ridership group, post secondary institutions, people who are disabled, Winnipeg Transit, and the ATU; but he wouldn’t call that list exhaustive and expects to have a clearer picture in the coming days.

Morantz and Callahan are meeting Friday to discuss the details.

“Since we are one of the only major cities that doesn’t have a TAC this is long overdue,” Callahan said, adding being late to the game does have the advantage that there are “many great examples” of transit committees in Canadian cities like Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Guelph, London and Toronto.

“(They’ve shown) a good public transportation system that is safe and reliable is a key in any modern city,” Callahan said. “It’s a staple, so obviously it needs attention it hasn’t been getting here in Winnipeg—I think that shows—but I’m really optimistic about the future of Winnipeg Transit as a result of this ongoing discussion.”

Callahan said the “first task would obviously be the safety issues,” but beyond that the committee will be able to focus on “making the service the best that it can be.”

Morantz said he’s keen to see the TAC organized “as soon as possible.”

“It’s a clear priority to get teh TAC establisehd right away. That’s why we’re meeting and I expect there will be a series of meetings, I want to make sure that we have the right structure in place, so when recommendations come out of the TAC they get proper hearing.

“That is, I think, a key to making sure it has a real role to play in terms of its advisory capacity.”

Good intentions evident in new Winnipeg bus safety practices

Three-and-a-half months after Local 1505-Winnipeg, MB, bus driver, Irvine “Jubal” Fraser, was stabbed to death, the City of Winnipeg is finally making recommendations to bolster bus safety after a 90-day study of the problem. The proposals include hiring more inspectors, installing more cameras, zero tolerance on fare evasion, and more. Local President John Callahan, said the host of security measures being proposed demonstrate “good intentions.” One committee proposal, however, stands out above the rest: the creation of a new transit advisory committee made up of key stakeholders, including workers and riders, to consider ways to improve public transit, and make it safer and more reliable.

It’s been a productive and busy week at the Tommy Douglas Conference with ATU local leaders from across the U.S. and Canada taking part in innovative labor-related trainings. An Advanced Arbitration training is teaching attendees new skills and strategies for negotiating strong contracts for their members. A training on Public Engagement is focusing on building alliances with riders and the public for local campaigns and polishing public speaking and communications skills. In addition, local presidents and the leaders of Local 113-Toronto, ON, learned new ways to motivate their members to get involved, make their Locals stronger, and empower their Locals for the battles ahead. All of the skills taught this week will prove vital in our local leaders’ efforts to engage their membership, riders, and like-minded organizations in local coalitions that will fight for Labor and public transit in their communities.


ECAT workers, commissioner at odds over ECAT’s future

With Escambia County Commission Chairman Doug Underhill threatening to end transit service, ECAT workers leafleted riders urging them to contact county commissioners to tell them support the transit system. The future of the system is in question after the commissioners began the process of taking over management of the system from private contractor First Transit. Local 1395-Pensacola, FL, which represents the workers, supported the move, but Underhill has proposed a voter referendum on whether the county should continue funding public transportation. The Local argues that ECAT serves the neediest in the community, and called for a public forum for riders to voice their opinions on this important issue. Read more.


Spokane transit workers sue authority over refusal of pro-union bus ad

Local 1015-Spokane, WA, has an ad with a simple message it wants to put on Spokane Transit Authority (STA) buses “Do you drive for Uber, Lyft, charter bus, school bus? You have a right to organize.” But STA has rejected the request. In response, the Local has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the agency seeking an order requiring STA to allow bus ads that “promote the availability of union services or that contain public service announcements.” The Local argues that STA’s policy constitutes an unlawful viewpoint-based restriction on speech in a public forum by allowing the promotion of charitable, religious and educational public services while prohibiting the promotion of labor-related public services. A trial is set for June 27, so stay tuned. Read more.


Portland transit workers push for better safety in wake of attacks

After a high-profile attack on a Portland, ON, light rail train that left two good Samaritans dead and another seriously injured for protecting a Muslim rider, TriMet beefed up the security on MAX trains by increasing the presence of transit police officers, supervisors and private security officers. However, the increased security was not enough to prevent a disruptive passenger from assaulting a MAX driver last Friday afternoon. And, in a letter to the public, Local 757-Portland, OR, is calling on TriMet to hire more fare inspectors instead of increasing the presence of armed police and private guards. Read more.


Bus driver blind spots: Isn’t a life worth $300?

Each week we hear another story about a preventable pedestrian accident involving a bus workstation blind spot. U.S buses have huge left hand mirrors, mounted in critical sight lines, that needlessly block the driver’s vision. In fact, from the point of view of the bus driver, up to 13 pedestrians may be hidden behind the massive “A” pillar and left side mirror at any given time. ATU has been at the forefront of exposing this problem, meeting with transit agencies and federal and state officials on the issue. In addition, ATU has produced a video highlighting the problem of bus driver blind spots and solutions to fix it for under $300 per bus. Watch video.


Report bus, rail and maintenance violations on ATU App

Broken mirrors, engine problems, defective steering, malfunctioning air conditioners, oil spills, fire and electrical hazards, emergency equipment issues, inadequate tools, lack of safety training, dirty workplaces, and foul air are among the many dangerous safety issues and working conditions that our members have reported on the ATU App. Now you can help us to fight for your safety by reporting violations. Just download the App to your smartphone and then go to the “Report Bus, Rail and Maintenance Safety Violations and Defects” page and fill out the form to report safety violations. Remember when filling out the form to please follow your transit agency’s cell phone policies if you are working.

Winnipeg Transit continues to put drivers at risk

 Winnipeg transit workers continue to question the City’s concern about the safety of bus drivers as the City and workers wait for a report on the current safety protocols on transit buses. Local 1505-Winnipeg, MB, which was never consulted for the report, says the agency is putting drivers at even more risk because transit inspectors have been coming on buses to ask operators to point out which passengers didn’t pay fares. The review of transit safety was ordered after bus driver Irving Fraser was stabbed to death by a rider in February. “Transit said they were going to consult with us. We have about three weeks left until the report is to be released and still nothing. We are totally in the dark,” said Local President John Callahan who fears the report will not address many of the issues the union has been raising for months. Read more.

A Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) report on the ATU Local 113 crisis is “riddled with omissions and specious interpretations of the events” surrounding Bob Kinnear and Unifor’s Jerry Dias’ scheme to raid the Toronto Local, writes RankandFile.ca. The report seems uninterested and unwilling to address key issues including who paid for the three full page newspaper ads from Kinnear and when exactly was the first contact between Kinnear and Unifor about raiding the Local. Furthermore, RankandFile.ca writes, “The contempt for ATU in CLC Investigator Barry Thorsteinson’s report oozes in every section, he talks about reprisals against members (there has been zero evidence this has occurred), the uncooperativeness during the investigation and their attacks on the CLC President.” Read more.


Buffalo transit workers rally for fair contract, improved service

It’s been nine years since Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) workers have had a new contract, and members of Local 1342-Buffalo, NY kicked their campaign into high gear with a rally calling on the agency to bargain fairly and improve bus service for riders. “It’s absolutely unacceptable that these hard-working men and women have to go to work every single day for nine years, and not only worry about their job, worry about whether or not the routes that they serve in our community are going to be cut, every single day,” said New York State Senator Tim Kennedy, who joined the workers at the protest. “But they do so and are not getting paid the fair wages that they should be.” Read more.


Lessons from the collapse of Bridj

Bridj, a startup that tried to merge the technology of Uber with buses, has abruptly shut down due to funding issues, revealing important lessons about how successful public transit works. First, public transportation is costly. There is a reason why public transportation systems historically require subsidies – they are expensive to build, operate, and maintain. Fares only will not cover all of the costs. The public sector is able to provide the subsidies that keeps public transportation going, largely through vehicles such as a percentage of state sales taxes. Without its private sector funding, Bridj could no longer support itself. This is not unique – take a look at the Uber. That company lost $2.8 billion on $6.5 billion in revenue last year. Once the private sector decides to stop subsiding Uber, it, too, will face either restructuring and downsizing or the final curtain. Read more.


CEO pay increases to 347 times average workers

The rich keep getting richer and workers keep getting left behind according to a new AFL-CIO report on executive pay. In 2016 CEO pay rose nearly 6 percent to an average of $13.1 million per year in 2016 – 347 times more money than the average rank-and-file worker. This comes as more good-paying American jobs have been outsourced contributing to the growing income inequality. Mondelēz International, which makes Nabisco products, represents one of the most egregious examples of CEO-to-worker pay inequality. Mondelēz CEO Irene Rosenfeld made more than $16.7 million in 2016 – about $8,000 per hour. This comes as the company closed its Oreo cookie line at a Nabisco factory in Chicago, sending 600 jobs to Mexico, where workers face poor labor and safety standards. Read more.


Calgary transit workers slam city decision to lay off 60

The safety of the Calgary Light Rail system could be at serious risk as Calgary Transit announced layoffs of 60 workers who maintain the system, says ATU Local 583, who represents the workers. Replacing veteran employees with lower-paid contractors to do the job of maintaining, cleaning or doing snow removal on the platforms could be disastrous. “It can be dangerous — really dangerous — if they’re not in communication with drivers and properly trained,” said the Local. “We’ve got people who have been there for 30 years for god’s sakes, because they love their jobs.” Read more.


Not all heroes wear capes

A South Carolina school bus driver is being hailed as a hero for helping 56 students off her bus before it burst into flames. Two students in the back of the bus noticed smoke and told the bus driver, who got the kids off the bus in under a minute and called 911 for help. “We are so proud of our bus driver,” said school district Superintendent Scott Turner. “She did exactly what she was trained to do. She was calm. She kept the students calm. She made sure they were safe. They were her first priority. She’s our hero today.” The ATU applauds this school bus driver for her quick action. Read more.

MTA Violating Free Speech rights

In an unprecedented act of repression, Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) officials have violated the First Amendment Rights of Local 1300-Baltimore, MD. The agencies have unlawfully banned Local President David McClure from MTA buildings, forcefully removing him from numerous employee discipline hearings. “They are violating our First Amendment rights in an attempt to silence McClure and all transit workers for informing the riders about the dangerous and life threatening conditions on the system,” says the Local. International President Larry Hanley pointed out similar incidents in Chicago, IL and Grand Rapids, MI. “There is a disturbing trend occurring across our country in which transit agencies trample on the free speech rights of employees who expose illegal practices,” he says. Read more.


Trumpcare most disgraceful legislation since Congress was founded

“The American Health Care Act (AHCA) is the equivalent of a death sentence for thousands of Americans who will be thrown off of their health insurance. Millions of others who won’t be able to go to a doctor when they must will get extremely sick, and lose their jobs, their homes, and their way of life,” says International President Larry Hanley in response to the House of Representatives’ passage of the bill, Wednesday. Hanley pointed out that the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) is flawed and that “changes are certainly needed, but any sane person should understand that ripping away a person’s life preserver and tossing them a twig is unconscionable.” Read more.


Wiedefeld’s outsourcing plan provokes union wrath, may not save money

Pointing to countless examples of failed privatization of transit, ATU and transit advocates blasted WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld’s plan to outsource parts of the system in an effort to cut costs. “It always introduces a partner into the relationship who extracts a profit by becoming the prophylactic for the government in their effort to be a rogue employer,” says International President Larry Hanley. “We don’t want the government to be a rogue employer.” London, England; Nassau County, NY, and Savannah, GA, are just a few bus systems that were privatized where promised savings never materialized and service and employee morale suffered. Read more.


ATU hero in Toronto

TTC employee JP Attard is being hailed for his heroism and quick-thinking for comforting a disturbed man who jumped on the subway tracks. “I didn’t know the cameras were flashing, I just jumped on instinct,” the 55 year-old Attard said. “As long as he was okay, we saved another life.” Dozens of witnesses were singing Attard’s praise. “He just kept talking to him, and said, ‘Breathe in; breathe out’ and ‘Look me in my eye,’” said witness Jeffrey Ribeiro. “Then he was like, ‘Now say, I am strong.’ Then he had everybody on the platform say it with him.” Ribeiro captured the touching interaction between the two men in a video he later posted online, which has gone viral. The ATU praises Attard for his actions. Read more.


Florida bus driver attacked by passenger

Another day and another attack on a transit worker. A man boarded a West Palm Beach bus and refused the operator’s request for him to pay his fare. Surveillance video from the bus shows a verbal altercation between the driver and the suspect, who was then seen striking the driver in the face and dragging him off the bus. “It’s very disturbing,” says Local President Dwight Mattingly, 1577. He called this behavior unacceptable and says the passenger could be banned from riding buses. Read more.


Motor City Freedom Riders to rally for real transit

As Detroit area officials and dignitaries plan to gather at a high-profile event on May 12 to launch a new three-mile streetcar line, the Motor City Freedom Riders will hold a protest highlighting the $140 million taxpayers spent to duplicate existing bus service. The “Rally for Real Regional Transit” will demand officials invest in accessible and affordable public transit for the thousands of Southeast Michigan working class residents who are stranded by the lack of adequate transit service in the city of Detroit and the suburbs. Read more.

An unprovoked assault on an ATU member

On September 5 2015 @ approximately 7:05 PM I was brutally assaulted while on layover at Sherbrook and Broadway. The attack was unprovoked and without warning (Yes unprovoked despite my reputation…..Union and management will back me up on that)
Receive a concussion that led to months of headaches. Several bit marks (Fortunately no broken skin) and lots of hairs pulled out. Along with the drivers side window smashed

A 6 minute attack that is considered by many of those that seen the video to be one of the most brutal they have seen. (4 operation supervisors and a union rep) Some have never seen worse.

A passerby was my initial savior who first contained the assailant for a bit. When the assault continued for a short time after escaping the passerby’s attempt to restrain the assailant a road supervisor arrived and pulled the assailant of me (I truly wish I could remember his name) followed immediately by WPS who took the “suspect” into custody.

The assailant was a 17 year old native female. 2 to 3 inches taller then me and out weighed me by a good 50 pounds,

I missed several days work after that and a few more after later on due to headaches. My broken glasses and time off where covered without issue by WCB.

I believe it was early 2015 that the The House of commons passed a bill that made assaulting a bus driver equal to assaulting a police officer (Aggravated assault I believe is the term) Basically saying….A more serious penalty.

She pleaded guilty and today was sentencing day

The crown mentioned several times how brutal the attack was. And also mentioned the new laws protecting drivers several times.

Defense went with the race card with statements that her grandmother was a child of the Residential schools. Also went with drinking problems and that she did not get along with mother and sister prior to the assault.

Judge started of asking her how she was getting along with her mom and sister. Asked her how counselling was going etc etc. During this time I leaned over to my supervisor who was also there and whispered ” why do I feel like I am in the principles office”
Judge brought up the severity of the charges regarding the new laws several times.

Judgment came up as follows (Just the basics here)
3 months deferred custody . Basically house arrest with being confined to house. and a curfew.
( https://www.irwinlaw.com/cold/deferred_custody_and_supervision )
A curfew and
Drug/alcohol counselling required
A $250 fine
18 moth probation after sentence

Needless to say…..I am disgusted by the result. Not sure what would have made me happy in sentencing. May not have been happy of 3 months in custody….but would have been accepting of that. But 3 months deferred custody? No bus ban?
Sorry courts ……You failed miserably yet again.

Might as well take down the code of conduct…
Might as well remove the “Assaulting a bus driver could = jail time” ads off buses

We are out there on our own kids…..We have no legal back up

A letter sent to the administrator from Mr. Cooter

You might say is old news but in fact, risks are extremely high for bus operators in these days.

An ATU hero in Edmonton

An Edmonton bus driver’s nerves of steel and years of police service are credited with saving lives during a police shooting of a gunman. Local 569-Edmonton, AB, member Ernie Russell, a retired police sergeant, was on his route when he saw a gunman man dressed in black. The man pointed his rifle at Russell who remained still and quiet. Then the police arrived and Russell yelled at the man to drop his gun, who turned his weapon toward police. Russell quickly slipped from his seat, ushered all the passengers to the back of the bus and told them to get down. “A lot of people would have panicked,” said Local President Mark Tetterington. “He saw the danger, had everyone hit the deck. … He did everything absolutely perfect.” ATU praises Russell for his heroism and quick action in this very dangerous situation. Read more.


ATU calls on Congress to reject American Health Care Act

“This immoral legislation – a tax bill benefitting the very wealthy masquerading as a health care measure – is perhaps the most disgraceful proposal put forth by Congress since it was founded in 1789. The bill is the equivalent of a death sentence for thousands of Americans who will be thrown off of health insurance,” writes International President Larry Hanley in a letter calling on members of the House of Representatives to reject the Trump-backed American Health Care Act. The letter acknowledges the Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare”) is not perfect, but “while changes are certainly needed… any sane person can understand that ripping away a person’s life preserver and tossing them a twig is unconscionable.” Read letter.


Local 113: TTC employees at risk after policy change

In the wake of a Toronto subway worker being attacked by a rider, Local 113-Toronto, ON, says the transit authority is putting the safety of its employees at risk with a recent policy change. Last month TTC implemented a new policy that requires subway guards to work from the sixth car — instead of the fifth, where the enclosed cab is at the window located closest to a majority of stops. The female operator was working as a guard on St. Patrick’s Day when she was approached by a man who cursed the TTC before punching her in the face. “The TTC continually shows by their actions that they don’t take the safety of their employees as a first priority. They are looking for comfort of the public over safety of employees,” says Financial Secretary Kevin Morton. Read more.


Driverless future?

With Uber already testing driverless cars, Ford and BMW developing driverless cars, General Motors investing $500 million for Lyft’s driverless cars, and Tesla, Volvo, Daimler, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, Google, and Apple joining the race, there’s little doubt there is a future for driverless cars and trucks. It’ll also likely mean five million taxi drivers, truckers, Uber and Lyft drivers, local delivery drivers, and even many bus drivers may lose their jobs. Our government has seen this coming and they must develop policies to prepare and help the many people who will lose their jobs as a result of this new technology. But given America’s dismal history with this type of change, such smart steps may not be taken, despite years of advance warning. Read more.


Winnipeg Local contemplates private security after violent weekend

The hits keep coming for Winnipeg Transit and they aren’t good. Two more violent attacks on bus operators occurred last weekend less than two months after Local 1505’s Irving Fraser was stabbed to death by a rider. The Local has been calling on the transit agency for more security to protect operators and drivers. In response the city has asked administration to produce a report on transit safety by the end of May. “Our membership is frustrated and they’re scared. I mean, you know, this whole 90-day report, what are our members supposed to do, just hang on and hope for the best?” asks Local President John Callahan. The Local is considering hiring a private security company to patrol buses. Read more.


Gatineau bus operators continue rotating strikes

With Local 591-Hull, OC, locked in a labour dispute with the Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO), transit workers walked off the job for another day as part of their rotating strikes to put pressure on the agency. The bus drivers and mechanics have been working without a contract since December 31, 2014. The Local has been pushing for an arbitration as the sides remain far apart especially on wages, vacations and scheduling. ATU stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at Local 591.

buy valacyclovir