Amalgamated Transit Union in North America

Red X Graphic?Don?t X Out Public Transit? day a big success

Congress heard our message loud and clear yesterday to not cut federal funding for public transportation, as ATU locals from across the country took part in ?Don?t X Out Public Transit? national day of action. Thanks to all of the locals who worked so hard over the past few months to make these events such a great success.?This was our first truly national U.S. media campaign, and thanks to you, we really had an impact.?There was major media coverage nationwide and we are still sorting through all of the press reports from locations throughout the country.?Please send any pictures, news clips or links, or your own descriptions of what your local did on ?Don?t X Out Public Transit? day to?our communications department at? ?Make sure to check out the website for all the media coverage.

ATU hits the picket line in Pensacola


Members of Local?1395-Pensacola, FL, went on strike at 4:30 this morning against the Veolia-managed Escambia County Area Transit (ECAT). ??The employees have gone over 1,000 days without a raise,? says Pensacola Local 1395 President Mike Lowery, ?and working conditions are the worst I’ve seen in 16 years.?

International Vice President Gary Rauen says, ?The real issue is that they?re (ECAT?s employees) not able to pay their bills? They?re just not able to sustain a livable income at this point? It just came to the place that there really was no other way to resolve this??

FMCSA to Hold Conference on Motor Coach Safety Friday, September 23rd

Will the federal government hear us? This Friday,?ATU President Larry Hanley will participate on a panel atthe Federal Motor Coach Safety Administration (FMCSA)?conference?on over-the-road bus safety in Washington, DC. Much of the discussion is expected to center on what the agency heard at ?roundtables? it conducted around the country in early August.?Greyhound Local?1700?members testified at the events.

At the conference ATU will continue fighting driver fatigue, and keep up the pressure to change the law to require interstate operators to pay their drivers overtime. You can watch the summit?via webcast by visiting the agency?s website at?

Toronto Mayor set to roll back
transit service to 2008 levels


?Collective Insanity.? That?s what Toronto Local?113?Local President Bob Kinnear
calls Conservative Mayor Rob Ford?s plan to roll Toronto?s transit service back
to 2008 levels.

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) budget cuts have become an issue in the province?s parliamentary campaign.?Ontario?s New Democratic Party (NDP) leader, Andrea Horwath, has urged the mayor to hold off until after the October 6 election.?Horwath pledges that, if elected, an NDP government would pay half of the operating costs for mass transit in exchange for a four-year fare freeze.

Kinnear blasted TTC commissioners at a September hearing saying, ?We already have the most congested streets in North America??But you don?t care about that ? do you? ? because the mayor has a plan to stop the gravy train. Well it?s time to stop the crazy train.?

Phoenix strike still on hold for now

?A strike appears to be inevitable,? says Phoenix Local?1433?President Bob Bean. ?For the entire year the union has been trying to avoid a strike, but Veolia?s actions seem to be pushing for a strike.? The latest push was Veolia?s September 15 announcement that it intended to impose a contract on its employees that was previously rejected by 98% of the local?s members. ?Bean says the local won?t take any action before Friday, but all bets seem to be off after that.

DOL rules new Austin transit provider must honor
workers? collective bargaining rights

The Department of Labor ruled Monday, that it would release federal transit funds to Austin?s Cap Metro, but that the contractor selected to operate the system must recognize Local?1091?s collective bargaining rights. The ruling will affect what is required of contractors who bid for the service.


Prairie Valley School Division is experiencing a shortage of bus drivers.


Regular bus drivers are in place for most of Prairie Valley?s routes although a few more are needed, says Supervisor of Transportation Sharon Bender.


?There is a serious shortage of spare bus drivers in all areas of the School Division,? says Bender. ?Spare drivers are very important as they help to ensure all of our routes are covered when regular bus drivers are unavailable and to drive students participating in school trips.?


Prairie Valley School Division transports 4,300 students daily during the school year and employs more than 200 regular and spare drivers.


The School Division is looking for applicants with bus driving experience, but will provide training for non-licensed school bus drivers. Drivers receive competitive compensation and permanent drivers qualify for a comprehensive, employer-paid benefits package. Other advantages include excellent hours, with summers off, and drivers have the option to taking their small children with them on their routes. There are also opportunities for spare drivers to become permanent drivers with Prairie Valley School Division.


For more details about becoming a bus driver, please contact Sharon Bender or Fred LaClaire at 306 949-6566.?

Talks between GO Transit bus drivers, Metrolinx, moving slowly: union

Contract negotiations between GO Transit bus drivers and Metrolinx are continuing, but they?re moving slowly, the Amalgamated Transit Union said.

More than 1,500 GO workers were set to walk off the job on Monday, but after talks resumed last week, the strike was called off.

Now, the ATU can?t set a strike deadline, because Metrolinx has applied to the Ontario Labour Board to declare some workers essential during a walkout.

Setting any strike deadline will have to wait until the essential-workers issue is dealt with.

Ticket sellers, coach technicians, and other workers could be affected by the negotiations. GO trains are not affected.

The union says the company’s proposed two-year wage freeze, along with working conditions and benefits that include two-tiered pensions, are key issues.

No charges for Matthew Fox in bus driver complaint

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) ? Cleveland prosecutors will not charge Matthew Fox on a complaint that the star of the former “Lost” television series punched a private bus driver last month.

City spokeswoman Andrea Taylor said in a statement Friday the decision was made “after a thorough review of the facts.”

Bus driver Heather Bormann of Cleveland had said Fox hit her early Aug. 28 after she blocked him from boarding a chartered party bus she was driving. She said Fox wanted a ride to his hotel and appeared intoxicated.

Bormann referred a call Friday to her lawyer, J. Norman Stark, who said the city’s decision is a “miscarriage of justice.”

“I disagreed most strenuously with the city prosecutor, who failed to see that this is, after all, a criminal act. It is not a simple civil act,” Stark said. “And I’m disappointed, as my client is, in the fact that the prosecutor did not see fit to enforce the law.”

Bormann filed a civil lawsuit against Fox in Cuyahoga County this week, alleging Fox engaged in “intentional, aggravated felonious assault and battery” and inflicted intentional emotional distress.

The lawsuit says Fox punched Bormann in the breast, groin, arm and legs, causing injuries that required medical treatment and led to loss of income. It says Bormann defended herself, hitting Fox in the head, bloodying his lip and injuring her own hand and fingers.

The lawsuit seeks at least $75,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.

An email seeking comment was sent to Fox’s publicist.


School bus hits Winnipeg house after bus driver collapses, fall out of seat

WINNIPEG – No students were injured when a school bus veered onto a lawn and into a house in Winnipeg.

There were 20 students on the bus from St. John’s Ravenscourt private school when the driver collapsed around 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Student Zoe Haber says she was listening to her Ipod when the bus suddenly drove onto the sidewalk and hit a house.

She says the driver had fallen off his seat and was throwing up and panting.

School official Stephen Johnson says the condition of the bus driver was unknown.

He says all of the children on the bus were OK and their parents were contacted.

Johnson says the school will be offering counselling services for students who witnessed the driver collapse.

Courtesy of Winnipeg Free Press