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.
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.
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.
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.
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.