More U.S. Public Sector ATU locals in NON-RIGHT-TO-WORK STATES AT 100% MEMBERSHIP

 

It’s been a few months since the U.S. Supreme Court’s treacherous Janus decision and ATU public sector Locals in non-right-to-work states have been mobilizing to get 100% of their members signed up and recommitted as ATU members. We are happy to report more and more Locals have been successful. To date, Locals 192-Oakland, CA, 265-San Jose, CA, 285-Steubenville, OH, 726-Staten Island, NY, 752-Bloomington, IL, 824-New Brunswick, NJ, 842-Wilmington, DE, 880-Camden, NJ, 883-Everett, WA, 1027-Fresno, CA, 1070-Indianapolis, IN, 1241-Lancaster, PA, 1249-Springfield, IL, 1336-Bridgeport, CT, 1499-Muncie, IN, 1574-San Mateo, CA, and 1704-San Bernardino, CA have 100% of their members committed to ATU! Get involved, and get your Local 100% committed, too.



Despite national trend, public transit
is winning in Connecticut

ATU has been saying for years, invest in public transit and riders will come. Look no further than Connecticut, which has seen a 5.4% increase in bus ridership while many other states have seen ridership plummet over the last few years. Why? The state put more money towards transit – expanding bus service including more routes for college students. Also a new commuter rail line was opened in June and ridership doubled on the line, which was formerly Amtrak-only service. The rail line operates like a bus line and a subway with more stops – and the trains are newer and nicer. Hopefully other states will follow Connecticut’s example and invest in more and better public transit. Read more.


Saint John Local: Facing our transit future

With a provincial election next week, Local 1182-St. John, NB, President Tom McGraw authored an op-ed on the critical role of investing in public transit in Saint John and the importance of the voting for transit-friendly candidates. “New Brunswick needs to help smaller cities like Saint John cope with the inevitable added pressure on its transit budget,” he writes. “Access to affordable transit is proven to reduce poverty…As well, public transit can foster inclusion and promote population growth across the province.” McGraw urges citizens to “ask your regional candidates if they have solid plans to support public transit and get out and vote in the Sept. 24th provincial election. Hop a bus to polling station!” Read column.


Minneapolis Local crashes event
celebrating Janus decision

A Koch brothers backed celebration of Janus vs. AFSCME, featuring the infamous Mark Janus and Rebecca Friedrichs, got a surprise as ATU Local 1005-Minneapolis joined other unions in protesting outside the event. Chanting “Who are we? Union!” and “What’s disgusting? Union busting!” More than 100 union members converged on the Minneapolis Hilton where the event was being held. Local President Ryan Timlin addressed a raucous crowd with spirited remarks about the importance of collective action and how every right that workers enjoy today was fought for by union workers of the past. Read more.

Another day, another attack on a bus driver

Rarely does a week go by that we don’t hear about another attack on a transit worker. The latest comes from Prince William County, VA outside of Washington, DC. The driver noticed a man running alongside his bus. Once the vehicle was stopped, the man started to bang on the door. When the driver refused to open the door, the assailant stood in front of the bus yelling. He then went to the back of the bus, kicked out one of the lower windows on the door and got inside. The man then sprayed the driver with an unknown substance, leaving the driver with minor injuries. ATU Locals have been engaged in a union-wide campaign to demand a redesign of bus driver workstations to protect drivers from assaults, eliminate dangerous blindspots, and other improvements. Read more.

ATU 1505 Winnipeg had an amazing moments on Labor Day

A bit late, but it was a lot of fun and it showed us that if we stay together we can do a lot of things that will benefit to all.

 

 

Congrats to everyone that participated, it was a lot of fun.

Happy Labor Day

This weekend we celebrate Labor/Labour Day in the United States and Canada with family and friends. ATU can be proud as our members are mobilizing from Birmingham, AL, to Saskatoon, SK, to Milwaukee, WI, to Halifax, NS and countless other communities. We have created a video to show our members working to demand more transit funding, to fight privatization efforts, to push for safer bus driver workstations and more. This Labor/Labour Day remember “We are a Proud Union Family”! Watch video.


Harrisburg transit workers rally for more,
better, and safer service

Capital Area Transit (CAT) workers are angry and rallied to demand more, better, and safer bus service for the people of Harrisburg before testifying at a CAT board meeting. Local 1436-Harrisburg, PA, have been working without a contract since their contract expired on June 30. There is a shortage of workers, forcing many to work overtime. The agency even outsourced one lucrative route to Hershey Park. Meanwhile CAT management has been using delay tactics in an attempt to extract concessions from the workers. “Our members love our jobs and want to provide the best possible service for the people of Harrisburg who rely on us,” said Local President Lionel Randolph. “And we want to be treated with the respect and dignity we deserve by our employer.” Read more.

The economy is booming, your salary is not:
Blame the decline of unions

A new study shows just how much organized labor can raise individual worker’s wages–even for nonunionized workers. Over the last 40 years as union membership declined working Americans have barely seen their salaries grow, while the cost of housing and basic needs have risen and CEO salaries skyrocketed. When unions were at their strongest prior to the 1960s, the gap was smaller between worker and executive pay and they secure higher minimum wages and better access to health care. Researchers only speculated that unions created positive spillover effects at nonunionized workplaces. A University of Illinois study of the transportation manufacturing industry shows the impact of a drastic decline in union membership on all workers. “My studies suggest that the wage growth in their career would have been more reliable, and their wages less volatile, had the broader decline of unionization in transportation manufacturing not been so severe,” the report’s author says. “I found that to be true both for folks who are members of labor unions, folks who transition out of union jobs, and folks who were never in unions to begin with.” Read more.

Trouble in paradise: Martha’s Vineyard
drivers fighting for contract, safer service

ATU is making some noise not often heard on the tony island of Martha’s Vineyard this summer. Vineyard Transit Authority workers held a picket demanding a fair contract and safer bus service. Short staffing by VTA subcontractor, Transit Connection (TCI), has resulted in coerced overtime for workers jeopardizing safety of bus service. The workers joined ATU in 2015, but contract talks have stalled as TCI has used the public’s money to engage in dilatory and unnecessary litigation. One driver at the picket said all they want is a better standard of life. “I work three jobs and I’m struggling. People that drive potato trucks make more money than us, driving 50 people with all that responsibility,” he said. Both sides are due to come to the bargaining table in September. Read more.

In victory for unions, judge overturns
key parts of Trump executive orders

In a setback for the White House’s efforts to weaken federal employee unions, a federal judge struck down key provisions of a set of executive orders aimed at making it easier to fire federal employees and weaken their representation. The new rules had restricted the use of “official time” — on-duty time that union officials can spend representing their members in grievances and on other issues as well as limited the issues that could be bargained over in union negotiations. In her decision, the judge wrote: “While . . . the President has the authority to issue executive orders that carry the force of law with respect to federal labor relations, no such orders can operate to eviscerate the right to bargain collectively as envisioned.” Read more.


Another attack on a transit worker,
a Winnipeg transit supervisor

It’s déjà vu in Winnipeg, as yet another transit worker was attacked. This time it was a Winnipeg Transit supervisor assaulted on a bus when a dispute over an insufficient fare escalated into an attack. A man and two male youths boarded the bus, but one didn’t have enough money to pay the fare. They became verbally aggressive and the supervisor asked them to leave the bus. Instead of leaving they punched the supervisor, violently dragged him off the bus and kicked and punched him. Police just happen to be nearby and intervened. The assailants were charged with assault. While the supervisor isn’t an ATU member, Local 1505 -Winnipeg, MB, President Aleem Chaudhary says more protection is needed for workers. Read more.

JANUS DECISION ATTACKS WORKERS RIGHTS

“Behind Janus is the coordinated attack on labor rights by the Koch brothers, other billionaires, and the anti-worker groups they back like the National Right to Work Foundation and Americans for Prosperity,” said ATU International President Larry Hanley in reaction to this week’s Supreme Court’s decision on Janus vs. AFCME, Council 31. “They want every minute of American life to be spent toiling under the bosses’ thumb. They don’t believe in democracy or the rights of the individual worker.” Hanley pointed out ATU has been preparing for the Janusdecision over the course of this past year with trainings to rediscover our roots and strengthen ATU locals. “Their power play has awoken a sleeping giant – organized labor. The labor movement has historically been at its strongest when under attack, and this is the greatest assault in a generation,” Hanley continued.



Tips to stay safe in the summer heat

It’s almost July and temperatures are soaring, and many of our members will face dangerously hot and humid conditions on the job over the next few months. In order to ensure your health and safety make sure the check out the ATU bulletin on Heat Stress Safety for tips on how to be prepared to deal with the summer heat. This bulletin can be downloaded here in English, Spanish, and French. Be sure to share these with your brothers and sisters at your Local.

Baltimore Local warned of unsafe Metro tracks for several years before emergency shutdown

Baltimore Sun Maryland Public Information Act request showed that Local 1300-Baltimore, MD, warned the Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) of rail safety concerns on Metro SubwayLink more than two years before the agency suddenly shut the entire system down for a month. In June of 2016, MTA and the Local visited a subway station uncovering more safety issues. Less than a month later the MTA announced a partial system shutdown. Days later Local President David McClure wrote to MTA officials that despite the union’s due diligence to inform the agency of safety concerns nothing has been done. “At best, the current approach being pursued is a result of complacency,” he wrote. “At worse [sic], it seems aimed at guiding the system into an unnecessary state of crisis that could be leveraged to justify political objectives like privatization or further divestment from Baltimore City’s transportation system.

Restroom ‘Nightmare’: CT transit drivers
to rally for better access

Connecticut bus operators angry over the lack of bathroom breaks, rallied to demand CT Transit and the state DOT to make more safe, clean restroom facilities available on all routes. The rally comes in the wake of a firestorm over a video of a bus operator reliving himself on the side of a busy road. To avoid having to use the bathroom on the job many bus drivers won’t drink water or eat before or during their work shifts. Others have resorted to wearing diapers so they can avoid having an embarrassing accident while in the driver’s seat. “I can tell you from my own experience many times I had to pull the bus over and pee behind the back tire,” said Local 281-New Haven, CT, President Ralph Buccitti. “It’s a serious problem. We’ve tried to negotiate to get access to bathrooms. We are bargaining for a basic human right: to use the bathroom.” Other CT Locals participating in the rally were 425-Hartford, 443-Stamford, 1209-New London, Local 1336-Bridgeport, 1622-Danbury and 1763-Rocky Hill.

ATU NJ calls on State Assembly to pass Governor’s budget to fund public transit

ATU NJ members are engaged in an aggressive campaign to demand that the New Jersey Democratic led Legislature pass Governor Chris Murphy’s proposed budget which provides critical funding for NJ Transit and increases taxes on the wealthy. The campaign has targeted NY State Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, who have proposed a budget that does not include Murphy’s proposed increase in the state sales tax to 7 percent or a “millionaires tax” to raise money for transit. During his tenure former Gov. Chris Christie raised fares twice while cutting state transit funding, leaving NJ Transit in shambles. ATU NJ Local members have been out in full force at transit stops, rallies and other public events urging NJ Transit riders and others to call Sweeney and Coughlin to urge them to pass Gov. Murphy’s budget.

Silicon Valley bus drivers forced to
sleep in parking lots

Bus driver Adan Miranda hauls people across Silicon Valley every day. But rather than commute 100 miles home each night to a Sacramento suburb he is sleeping in a San Jose parking lot provided by his employer, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). Miranda and most of his fellow bus drivers and mechanics can’t afford to live in the Bay Area. But Miranda and his co-workers may not be able to sleep in the parking lot soon because VTA is planning to sell it off in an attempt to raise revenue. “We feel the program is an unfortunate condition of the times we live in,” said John Courtney, Local 265-San Jose, CA, who represents the VTA workers. ATU demands that VTA workers be paid so they can live in the community they serve.

The Story of “Micro Transit”
is consistent, dismal failure

For years “micro transit” was being touted as the next big thing in urban transportation. “Micro transit” is a mobile app-based service that functions like UberPool or LyftLine but with large vans or minibuses to match passengers making similar trips in a single vehicle. But so far it has flopped and miserably so. Case and point is now-bankrupt Bridj in Kansas City. Six months in to its partnership with Kansas City’s transit agency, the Bridj vans had only provided fewer than 600 rides, far short of the 200 per day that was initially projected. Despite this failure and countless others, at least 24 transit agencies are expected to initiate micro transit contracts this year. ATU encourages these cities to come to their senses and realize funds would be better spent investing in their current public transit systems.

Historical win for Mexico, Fifa World Cup 2018

  • Mexico recorded their first win against Germany at the FIFA World Cup™
  • El Tri  have won five of their last six opening matches at the world finals
  • Hirving Lozano scored on his World Cup debut

Nobody predicted this. Anyone who said they could see it happening was most probably lying, with the exception, that is, of Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio or one of his players. Over the last few months, Osorio has been hatching a plan to defeat the reigning world champions, and today at the Luzhniki Stadium, El Tri executed it to perfection.

We reveal the keys to Mexico’s historic triumph in Moscow.

Constant pressing

“We know Germany’s style and we know that the success of their system is based on Toni Kroos’ legs, so our number one priority was to neutralise him,” Javier Chicharito Hernandez told us. “But it wasn’t just a case of trying to do that with him. It was my job to try and stop [Mats] Hummels, who’s their best defender on the ball, from playing his game. The aim was to disrupt their flow.”

While Germany enjoyed more possession, particularly in the second half, Mexico’s pressing game made sure the holders were never at ease. Proof of that is the fact that El Tri recovered possession 38 times to the Germans’ 31.

Speed on the counter

“We knew that El Profe [‘The Professor’, to give Osorio his nickname] had spent months working on his plan but he only told us about it a little while ago,” explained Hector Herrera, who also had an outstanding afternoon. “The idea was to press them and also to spread the play as quickly as possible and make the most of the speed of our attacking players.”

It was Herrera who began the move that led to Mexico’s goal with a superb pass into the path of Chicharito, who in turn fed the ball on for Hirving Lozano to fire home. It was not the only excellent chance created by El Tri, who time and again exploited the space left by the German midfield to threaten Manuel Neuer’s goal.

Confidence and team spirit

“This win belongs to all the players and to El Profe Osorio more than anyone else,” said midfielder Edson Alvarez, who came on as a substitute in Moscow. “We knew he’d prepared the match in depth and we put ourselves in his hands. And he showed his faith in us too. I am extremely grateful to him for giving me the opportunity to play in the World Cup at the age of only 20.”

Those sentiments were widely shared among the Mexico players, who all spoke of the high spirits in the Tri camp and of their faith in Osorio’s plans, with Chicharito going as far as to describe him as a “genius”. The feeling is mutual. Speaking after the final whistle, the Colombian coach said: “The credit should go to the players. The experienced ones got the message across to the youngsters and everyone competed supremely well. We were brave. We play for the love of winning not the fear of losing.”

Learning fast

It was only a year ago that Mexico were beaten 4-1 by Germany at the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017. As far as Herrera is concerned, that result was crucial to today’s win: “It goes without saying that we learned from what happened that day. We knew we couldn’t leave them so much space, that we had to press them the whole time. It was crucial for us to play like that.”

Hernandez refused to get carried away with the result, another sign of Mexico’s learning process: “What’s the point of us winning today if we then go and lose to Sweden or Korea Republic? Obviously we celebrated in the dressing room but it was pretty low key. This is the first step and there’s still a long way to go.”

That measured response was in stark contrast to the jubilant celebrations of the Tri fans during and after the game. Though the tournament has only just begun, the date 17 June 2018 is one that has already been etched in the history of Mexican football.

World Fifa World Cup 2018 positions

Local calls for resignation of HR Executive over racist FB comments

After uncovering “explicitly and vilely racist” Facebook comments by Spokane Transit Authority’s HR director, as well as her defense of others’ making similar comments, Local 1015-Spokane, WA, is calling for her resignation. The Local found that STA’s HR Director Nancy Williams had shared video on her Facebook account of a disturbing incident in which several young black men kicked and punched a young white man. She posted “these ‘kids’ are despicable animals.” Then William’s aunt Beverly Nan Murphy replied to the video, calling Barack Obama a “creature,” further commenting “If you don’t teach primates at an early age, (no matter what skin they are in) they continue to be non-civilized.” Williams “liked” the comment, and defended it as others questioned it. Local President Thomas Leighty called for her resignation at a press conference, “You can’t allow someone who says and defends this type of racist garbage to be collecting a public salary and be making decisions about the fates of public workers.” Read more.



How ridesharing widens disparities
of race and class in urban public transit

From NYC to Los Angeles to Austin to San Francisco, public transit ridership is down in nearly every U.S. city. One of the reasons behind that trend is the rise in ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft as cities skimp on traditional transit service and maintenance. And who loses? People from low income communities and people of color, who rely on public transit the most. Uber’s unsustainable business model is the prime culprit. The company subsidizes fares and flood streets with taxi-like cars in order to grab market share and pricing power. Because people in higher income brackets will use Uber rather public transit, the class and racial divide widens. Read more.



ATU mourns death of Long time
Sergeant-At-Arms and Local 113 member Harvey Ward

ATU is sad to report the death of Harvey C. Ward, retired Secretary-Treasurer of Local 113-Toronto, ON, on May 26, 2018 at the age of 98. Brother Ward was a longtime fixture at ATU Conventions serving as a sergeant-at-arms from 1986 until 2010. For many of those conventions he served as chair of the sergeant-at-arms. Ward joined Local 113 in 1947 when he was hired by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) as a streetcar operator. He was elected to the Local’s Executive Board as Secretary-Treasurer in 1971, and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1986. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Ward family and our brothers and sisters at Local 113.



Seattle bus drivers win $8.3 million in back
pay for safety checks, paperwork

In a big victory, Seattle bus drivers will receive an additional $8.3 million in back pay to cover three years of routine safety checks and paperwork performed beyond their usual shift time. This agreement, reached between Local 587-Seattle, WA, and King County Metro Transit, is in addition to a $6.4 million fund created last fall for more than 2,400 operators to resolve a federal investigation on the same issues. Local President Michael Shea called the figure an equitable settlement. “ATU appreciates that our employees are being properly compensated for the work that they are doing.” Read more.



Help ATU reach 20,000 ‘likes’

The ATU Facebook community is growing every day thanks to members, riders, and transit advocates spreading the word about our Facebook page. It’s a great source of information. Through our Facebook Live sessions, regular news posts, and more, members stay up to date on what’s impacting our union and industry. We have 20,000 “likes” in our sights! Help us reach that goal and “like” our page, share our stories and invite your friends to like the page, too. Also be sure to follow our Twitter handle @ATUComm to stay up to date on what’s trending in public transit, politics, and other issues. Like us today!

Guatemala Volcano Toll Reaches 99, As Officials Point Fingers Over Evacuation

Municipal firefighters search for victims in the ash-covered village of San Miguel Los Lotes, in Escuintla, about 20 miles southwest of Guatemala City, on Wednesday.

Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images

Guatemala’s opposition is accusing the head of the country’s emergency response agency of failing to heed warnings ahead of the eruption of a volcano that has left nearly 100 dead and almost 200 others missing.

The finger-pointing came as rain showers and the fear of mudslides hindered the search for possible survivors and the recovery of the dead from Sunday’s eruption of Fuego (Spanish for fire). It is one of Central America’s most active volcanoes.

The volcano blanketed nearby villages in ash and sent fast-moving toxic pyroclastic flows down into valleys as people living nearby rushed to escape the onslaught.

“You have a great responsibility over what happened,” Congressman Mario Taracena, speaking in the Guatemalan Congress, said of Sergio Cabañas, the executive secretary of the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction, also known as CONRED.

“Anyone with a little common sense would have done something,” Taracena said, according to El Periódico. “They did not care and they did not take precautions.”

The director of the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology, Eddy Sánchez, also came in for criticism.

Sánchez explained that his agency issued several bulletins during the day ahead of the eruption. However, CONRED officials said they did not receive enough information to properly evaluate the risk posed by the mountain.

A CONRED representative, Arturo Alvarado, said communities near Fuego are used to living with risk and do not respond to evacuation orders.

“What arises there is a self-evacuation because they are the ones closest to the place,” Alvarado said, according to El Periódico. “Although we have the seismic data and the bulletin, the self-evacuation is what will save your life.”

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, rescue crews were repeatedly forced to retreat as Fuego sent boiling water and toxic gas down its slopes.

Even so, The Associated Press reports that search teams were able to make some progress — using shovels and heavy equipment to uncover more bodies.

The official death toll on Wednesday stood at 99, with 197 listed as missing and presumed dead.

“Nobody is going to be able to get them out or say how many are buried here,” Efrain Suarez, a 59-year-old truck driver helping with the rescue efforts at the devastated village of San Miguel Los Lotes, told the AP.

“The bodies are already charred,” he said. “And if heavy machinery comes in they will be torn apart.”

Suspect in Toronto van attack charged with 10 counts of murder, 13 counts of attempted murder

BREAKING UPDATE: The man arrested in connection with a deadly van attack in North York on Monday afternoon has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.

He has been remanded into custody and is set to return to court on May 10.

The suspect, identified by police as 25-year-old Richmond Hill resident Alek Minassian, was arrested after a van plowed into pedestrians along a busy stretch of Yonge Street, killing 10 and injuring 15 others.

Sources told CTV News Monday that Minassian was not known to police prior to the incident and a Linkedin profile under his name states he graduated from Seneca College earlier this year.

On Monday afternoon, several witnesses reported seeing a white Ryder rental van driving along the sidewalk in the area of Yonge Street and Finch Avenue, striking pedestrians in its path.

Early images of the scene showed pools of blood on the sidewalk and multiple people wounded on the ground.

A driver who said he was behind the van as the incident was unfolding said he eventually started honking to warn pedestrians.

“At the beginning I thought I want to make him stop because I’m literally about 20, 30 metres behind him but he is not stopping and he is driving faster on the sidewalks and I am on the road,” he told CP24.

He said he then decided to continue to follow the vehicle and honk to warn people on the street about the danger.

Witness videos sent to CP24 show a dramatic takedown of the suspect on the sidewalk on Poyntz Avenue.

The videos show a man exiting a badly damaged white rental van as an officer points a firearm at the suspect.

A source confirmed to CP24’s crime specialist Steve Ryan that prior to the arrest, the man asked police officers to shoot him.

He was eventually brought to the ground and taken into custody.

Police have said that they believe the incident appears to be “deliberate.”

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters Monday night that police are exploring “all lanes” in their investigation and are trying to determine exactly what the van driver’s motivation was in the deadly attack.

One victim identified

One of the ten victims of the fatal attack has been identified as Invesco employee Anne Marie D’Amico, a source confirmed to CP24.

Police have not released the ages or genders of the other nine victims.

Flowers and messages of condolence could be seen at a growing memorial that has been set up in Olive Square, near Yonge Street and Finch Avenue, in honour of those impacted by the tragedy.

A GoFundMe page has also been set up for the victims.

The section of Yonge Street where the pedestrians were hit remains closed today as police continue their investigation.

Transit has also been impacted due to closures in the area.

Due to the police investigation, the Toronto District School Board said the TDSB Education Centre, located near Yonge Street and Sheppard Aveneue, will be closed Tuesday.

‘We will not be broken,’ Tory says

Tuesday’s Toronto city council meeting was postponed until Wednesday, but Mayor John Tory asked councillors to meet at city hall today to express their condolences.

Speaking in council chambers Tuesday, Tory called the situation an “unfathomable loss of life has left our city in mourning.”

“Our hearts are with all of those affected,” he said.

The mayor went on to thank hospital staff as well as first responders and citizens at the scene who exhibited “great bravery” during the ordeal.

“We know that we are strong and resilient and will not be thrown off course by one person or one act,” Tory said.

“The people who call this city home are shaken… but we will not be broken.”

Coun. John Filion, whose ward encompasses the area where the attack took place, recognized the “tremendous emotional toll” the incident has taken on those in the area who rushed in to help in any way they could.

“Hopefully this will have all of us be a little kinder to each other on regular days,” he told his fellow councillors at city hall Tuesday.

Speaking at Parliament Hill on Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the incident “horrific” and “senseless.”

“On behalf of all Canadians, I offer my deepest, heartfelt condolences to the loved ones of all those who were killed and we wish a full recovery to those injured and stand with the families and friends of the victims,” Trudeau said.

The prime minister added that there is nothing to suggest that there is a national security element to the situation.

Police said another update on the case will be provided this afternoon but a time and location has not yet been determined.

Courtesy of CTV and CP 24 and GMA

TTC walks away from bargaining table with Local 113


Showing disrespect to Toronto transit workers, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) walked away from the bargaining table after Local 113-Toronto, ON submitted a contract proposal. The Local expressed disappointment with the TTC’s decision to abandon negotiations. The agency says it has applied for conciliation. The Local has invited the TTC to return to the table and bargain in good faith to reach a fair agreement. They also pledged to continue the fight to protect workers’ pensions and benefits, while saving Toronto’s public transit system from privatization, which cost taxpayers more money in the end.

Atlanta paratransit workers call off strike, progress in negotiations

In reaction to a strike threat by Atlanta paratransit workers, MV transportation and Local 732-Atlanta, GA, have made strong progress in contract talks. The Local had called for their second one-day walk-out to protest unsafe buses and dangerous work conditions that are threatening the safety of riders and drivers. “The operators of these buses don’t see our passengers as just passengers; they’re family to us. Just recently, one driver had a wheel fall off his bus, and thankfully, there was no one on his bus at the time,” said Local President Michael Majette. In addition, the Local has challenged the decision to outsource the paratransit service. The two sides hope to reach an agreement soon.

Uber, Lyft and Via sue to block wheelchair-accessibility mandate

Showing their disregard for people with disabilities, Uber, Lyft and Via have banded together to defy a recently passed NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission mandate requiring more of their service be wheelchair accessible. The TNCs filed a petition against the rules, which will require that within 12 months 5% of all trips be in wheelchair accessible vehicles. That will rise to 25% by July 2023. Disability advocates believe the mandate doesn’t go far enough. “We’re grateful the city is trying to push for accessibility, but it’s not enough,” said Ruth Lowenkron, director of the disability justice program at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. “We think they have their own obligation under the non-discrimination laws to ensure access under non-discrimination laws.”
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