Archive for category Personal observations

Fighting for a better work stationn

 We’ve come a long way: 125 years ago, this September, ATU was formed. One of our first fights was to get enclosed driver vestibules (workstations) on the streetcars we operated. Mindful of our history, what better way is there to celebrate our anniversary than to fight for a workstation designed for drivers’ protection, rather than minimizing cost? So, at your September local union meeting you will be asked to vote for a resolution to demand a safe, secure and healthy bus workstation. Watch this video to learn more about this campaign.

Hamilton transit workers move ball forward in fight to “Keep Transit Public”

Local 107-Hamilton, ON, scored another victory in their community campaign to demand that Ontario’s transit planning arm, Metrolinx, hire the publicly-owned and operated Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) to operate and maintain the new light rail transit (LRT) system rather than contract it out to a private company. The Hamilton City Council voted, 10 -2, to pass a motion to Keep Transit Public . “Now we have to make sure Premier Kathleen Wynne and Metrolinx got the message,” said Local President Eric Tuck. Read more.

Baltimore transit worker, supporters march against BaltimoreLink changes

Local 1300-Baltimore, MD, members, riders and transit allies gathered at Baltimore’s War Memorial to march to the Maryland Transit Administration’s (MTA) headquarters to protest changes to the city’s bus routes that have harmed riders and drivers. The struggling overhaul of the city’s bus system – BaltimoreLink – has created headaches for riders who must make more transfers and catch buses at different stops. The protestors are calling on Governor Larry Hogan and the MTA to revisit the changes, and add service and lines, “because right now,” says Local President David McClure, “these people are not able to get where they need to be.” Read more.

Portland debuts fair fares

Riding public transit is not cheap – especially for low-income families that rely on it to get to work or school. But now Portland’s transit agencies – Trimet, C-Tran, and streetcars – are showing the way to a fairer fare. The agencies have introduced “fare capping” for low-income persons in which they are not charged for trips they take after they reach a certain monthly fare threshold. Portland is the first major American city to enact a fare capping policy. Trimet made the change in response to grassroots pressure for a fairer system, and international transit agencies in cities such as London and Dublin have shown that fare capping works. Read more.

Another busy week at the Tommy Douglas Conference Center

The Tommy Douglas Conference Center is buzzing again this week with local leaders taking part in an Advanced Arbitration Training. The attendees heard from experts and took part in hands-on exercises to learn new skills and strategies for negotiating strong contracts for their members. These and other innovative ATU training programs are a vital step in preparing our Locals for bargaining contracts, engaging our membership, and galvanizing our riders into a potent political force.

 

How today’s unions help working people

Americans have always joined together – whether in parent/teacher associations or local community organizations – to solve problems and make changes that improve their communities. A new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) examines how through unions, people are joining together to strive for improvements at the place they spend a large portion of their waking hours: work. The report helps explain how unions fit into the economy today; how they affect workers, communities, occupations and industries, and the country at large; and why collective bargaining is essential for a fair and prosperous economy and a vibrant democracy.

 

‘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

 

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 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.

Help the family of our fallen Winnipeg Brother

This week was a very sad one for ATU with the murder of Winnipeg bus driver Irvine “Jubal” Fraser on the job. The Local 1505 member died after a passenger stabbed him, Tuesday morning, at 2 a.m., at the end of his run. The police caught and charged the assailant with second degree murder. ATU International President Larry Hanley called for action to address the growing problem of attacks on bus drivers. “ATU demands that transit agencies and government officials bring the same sense of regret that they will display in the public mourning of this tragic, unnecessary death of our brother to the ongoing discussion about preventing these attacks from occurring.” You can help brother Jubal Fraser’s family by contributing here.


Board overturns MARTA decision to outsource paratransit service

Concluding that MARTA’s chief aim in outsourcing paratransit service was saving money on employee salaries and benefits – in essence, avoiding its obligations under the labor contract, an arbitration board has overturned MARTA’s decision to outsource its paratransit service to MV Transportation. Local 732 called the decision “a victory for everybody that was affected by this outsourcing” pointing out customers also will benefit from having experienced, well-trained drivers. Read more.


ATU Iowa fighting to save collective bargaining

Remember when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker took away collective bargaining rights for public employees in 2011? Well now Iowa state legislators are attempting to do the same. And like Wisconsin, ATU Iowa is on the frontlines to stop this attack on unions. Our members flooded the halls of the state capitol with thousands of public employees, union members and supporters to protest the Republican-backed bill that would severely restrict public-sector workers’ ability to negotiate contracts. See photos of rally.


Conservative MPs laugh at Amarjeet Sohi’s past as bus driver

Former Local 569-Edmonton, AB bus driver and current the minister of infrastructure and Liberal MP Amarjeet Sohi, was speaking in the House of Commons about his job as bus driver when he heard laughter from Conservative MPs. Sohi, who spoke at ATU’s recent Convention in Toronto last Fall, didn’t miss a beat. His Liberal colleagues could be seen shaking their heads in disbelief. Afterwards Sohi spoke about the incident saying, “I take pride in my background. I think it does demonstrate a streak of elitist attitude in the Conservative Party, where maybe they don’t appreciate we have working-class people in Parliament in the Liberal government who are making a difference in the lives of Canadians.” Read more.


Local 689 voices concern on possible Metro safety commission

Local 689-Washington, DC has serious concerns about the authority a proposed safety commission would have regarding firing employees. A provision in the bill provides the commission alone sweeping power to recommend suspensions and disqualify an employee that it deems unfit, a Local representative told the Maryland House Environment and Transportation Committee at a public hearing. The three jurisdictions, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia must act in concert to pass the measure to create the Metrorail Safety Commission. Read more.


Kelowna bus driver ‘cold-cocked’ on highway

The hits keep coming – literally. This time the attack on a bus driver happen in Kelowna, MB where a disturbed young man punched a female bus driver in the head while she was driving. The driver managed to pull the bus over safely and then the passenger reached across her, stepped on her and crawled out her window. With the recent tragic murder of a Winnipeg bus driver, Local 1722 President Scott Lovell is particularly concerned. “These assaults are not stopping. How many bus drivers need to be killed before you change things for drivers?” Lovell believes the way to make buses safer is the installation of bus driver shields. Read more.


New officers learning the ropes at Tommy Douglas Conference Center

The ATU Tommy Douglas Center was very busy this week. Recently-elected local officers have been taking part in innovative trainings to learn new strategies to make their Locals stronger, and to empower members to get involved and prepare for the battles ahead. The participants are hearing from experts on a wide variety of topics to learn new skills to effectively run their Locals and serve their members. They also get the unique opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences with their fellow local officers. Photo gallery.

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Kelowna transit workers reach tentative agreement, end strike

There’s good news from Kelowna, BC, as Local 1722has reached a tentative contract agreement with First Canada ending a 13-day strike. The workers had been without a contract since April 1. The details of the agreement have not been made public as the Local is expected review the terms of the contract with its membership in the next day. Read more.


“Thank a CTA Driver” campaign

In an effort to organize members and build public support for transit in Chicago, Locals 241 and 308teamed with clergy and politicians to launch a “Thank a CTA Driver” campaign in the week leading up to Thanksgiving Day. The Locals produced a video about the campaign and are also passing out buttons with the message “Thank a CTA Driver” to the public at transit stops across the city. Watch video.


Workers don’t need Trump to give them a voice, they need unions

As this U.S. election made clear, a lot of Americans are angry. They feel left behind by the economy with income inequality at near record levels and have no voice in democracy as money dominates our political system. And President-elect Donald Trump seized on it to get elected. But truth be told a Trump Administration isn’t going to protect Americans’ basic rights and his policy recommendations “to rebuild the working class” will prove hollow. The real long-term solution to current political and economic dissatisfaction is to give workers a productive way to advocate for themselves. And the best way to do that is to rebuild unions. Read more.


The perils of privatization: Nassau County cuts more bus service

This is an all too familiar story, a private company wins a contract to manage a transit system with lofty promises of cutting costs and improving service, but ends up costing more, leading to fare increases, service cuts, and safety and maintenance shortcuts. That’s exactly what is happening in Nassau County with Transdev for the second time. The Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) bus system run by Transdev is moving ahead with plans to ax 11 bus routes and cut service on two others blaming a funding crisis . The perils of privatization. Read more.

Emergency Union meeting in YWG

Dear Readers Bros and Sis:
I was attending today’s emergency meeting at the Union Office, I have to tell you I was overwhelmed by the participation, the whole meeting was mainly based in one topic, (if the upcoming election should be or not cancelled/postponed) and to be honest I don’t see that kind of participation on a regular basis, and let me tell you that they were a lot of discussions, screams and even lack of respect for the members of the executive and even participants, my point is you are upset because things are not running your way, that’s bad specially if you DON’T PARTICIPATE ON REGULAR MEETINGS, don’t come to the Union office once a year and expect results right away, it doesn’t work that way, this issue was brought by one of the brothers who started pulling signatures to stop this event, no problem, you have a valid point, but if they don’t let you run is not because they don’t like you, it’s simple because you DON’T HAVE ENOUGH CREDITS, to participate is simple as that (it’s a 100% legal) the results are clear the election will run as planned. For the record is my duty to inform you that our President John Callahan made a public apology for not posting the nominations in the proper time, the rest was done by the book 16 members out of the 1500 plus (what a shame) are qualified to run only 14 were nominated the other 2 declined to participate.
At the end I got upset because there were serious words coming from the members, words like corrupts, non sense meetings among other things.
AGAIN, BE UNION PARTICIPATE AND THEN WE LISTEN.
Your brother.
canada

ATU 1505 IS HAVING AN ELLECTION COMING UP

Amalgamated Transit Union 1505, here in Winnipeg will have its election to be held on:

November 28-Dec 3, 2016

November 28, 2016 Union Office 0800-1600

November 29, 2016 Downtown Lounge 0800-1600

November 30, 2016 Brandon Garage 0430-1530

November 30,  2016 Fort Rouge Garage  0800-1600 and December 1, 2016 till 1530

December 1, 2016 North Garage 1600 and December the 2nd 1530.

Ballot counting at ATU Union Office December the 2nd 2016, 1600

The following positions were filled by Acclamation: Executive board # operating Derek Hanley,

Executive board Maintenance #1 Ron Nelson,

Auditor#1 Operating Lloyd Greenway

Every bro and sis are invited to participate and cast your vote, very important, and remember you are part of it and ONLY YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

election-bios

ATU OUT IN FORCE

“When we the people are united we win. The times ahead will be the roughest we have seen in our lifetimes but we must double our efforts to educate and organize,” ATU International Secretary-Treasurer Oscar Owens told a raucous crowd of progressive and union activists at a Social Justice/Anti-TPP rally outside the Capitol in Washington, DC. More than 90 ATU members attended the rally to hear from Senator Bernie Sanders, I-VT, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-HI, former CWA President Larry Cohen, former Ohio Democratic State Senator Nina Turner and others. Read more.


Riders stand along Kelowna transit workers as strike enters second week

Striking Local 1722-Kelowna, BC members got a boost as riders joined the workers on the picket lines to show their support. As the strike enters its second week the rider activists held a protest outside City Hall over the city’s failure to avoid job action by transit workers. The protestors say seniors, students and those with disabilities have been hit hardest by the strike and say it’s been difficult to join the workers on the picket lines because most transit users are stuck at home with no way to get anywhere. The workers have been without a contract since April 1. The ATU International stands in solidarity with our Kelowna brothers and sisters. Read more.


GEB and Locals gear up for 2017 at trainings

It’s been a very busy week at the Tommy Douglas Conference Center as the General Executive Board and Locals are taking part in a Joint Industry Council Training on contract negotiations and bargaining strategies. The GEB and the more than 60 local leaders are gearing up for a busy year as more than 60 local contracts are expiring. A team of experts are teaching participants innovative strategies and techniques to secure strong contracts and mobilize members to get involved.


Saskatoon transit workers “work to rule” as contract talks stall

In response to a series of unsuccessful negotiation sessions with the City of Saskatoon, Local 615members are refusing to work overtime and working “to the rule” in protest. One of the main sticking points is proposed changes to the pension plan that the city wants to impose without the Local’s consent. Both sides are waiting for an arbitration ruling on the issue. The Local’s members have been working without a contract for almost four years. Read more.


Local 1596 member & daughter elected to FL state house

“Like father, like daughter” has been taken to a new level for Local 1596-Orlando, FL member Victor Torres and his daughter Amy Mercado. They were both elected to the Florida state house and are the first father and daughter to serve in the Florida state legislature. The two are trying to set an example for the next generation. Younger family members have been campaigning with them and going door-to-door. ”The more they see that we’re engaged, the more they will be engaged,” Mercado said. And they’re already looking to their next generation to follow in their footsteps. “One of them is a political science major – so we’ll see,” Mercado continued. Read more.


Elected officials join Local 1300’s call for changes to Baltimore bus plan

Local 1300-Baltimore, MD, has been engaged in a comprehensive campaign to expose the problems of Charm City’s transit system and calling on the state to rethink its overhaul of the bus system. The Local has gained the support of key elected officials for their “People’s Plan for Baltimore” to repair the system. “The state has the responsibility that every citizen in the state of Maryland and the Baltimore region has safe access to fresh food, hospitals, education and jobs,” said Delegate Cory McCray. “And we know it’s the state’s responsibility to provide transportation to get to those places.” The workers are hitting bus stations across the city, knocking on doors and attending community meetings to get citizens to sign a petition calling on the MTA and Governor Hogan, R, to fix the bus system. Read more.


Dayton transit workers authorize strike

Kelowna, BC, and Saskatoon, SK, are not the only cities facing a possible transit worker strike as Local 1385-Dayton, OH, members voted to authorize a strike after rejecting their third contract proposal. It’s been decades since the Local has been on strike and state law requires 10 days’ notice of any job action. The major issues in the contract dispute are back pay, working conditions and proposed changes to health care plans. Be sure to check the ATU website for the latest developments on this story. Read more.

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