|?Frustrated Guelph, ON commuters can blame City officials for having to find an alternative way to work after more than 200 Guelph bus drivers and other workers were locked out by the City.
The members of ATU Local?1189?- Guelph, ON overwhelmingly rejected the City?s latest contract proposal.?The workers have been without a contract since July 2013.
1189 leaders have repeatedly said money isn?t the only issue it?s concerned with, citing working conditions such as washroom and lunchroom facilities as another. City officials say they were not aware of any issues with working conditions until after union members rejected their previous offer. Be sure to check out the ATU website for the latest developments around this dispute.?Read more.
DC Metro workers & ATU camel protest WMATA Board Chair’s conflict of interest
If you happened to be walking in downtown Washington, D.C. earlier this week you might have seen a 15-foot inflatable camel and group of transit workers and supporters outside of WMATA headquarters. Their target, WMATA Chair Tom Downs.
They were there to denounce Downs for his dual role as Chair of the Board of Advisors at Veolia Transportation. Veolia, a Paris-based private transit firm has a reputation for wrecking public transportation service in major cities across the United States.
ATU Local leaders from Detroit, Oakland, Niagara Falls and other cities?across North America?joined the group of ATU Local?689?- Washington, DC members for the demonstration. They were in DC for a public engagement training.
?It?s time for Downs to make a choice between serving the people of DMV (DC, Maryland and Virginia) and serving his corporate interests,? said Local 689 President Jackie Jeter. ?He should be protecting the integrity and affordability of Metro. Instead he is raising fares on riders and failing to protest the decisions of the elected officials who appointed him that are not in the best interests of riders.??Watch TV story.
Canadian tour bus overturns, killing one…time to address driver fatigue
What would have been a fun-filled weekend trip to New York City turned into a tragedy when a tour bus carrying more than 50 passengers rolled over in upstate New York, killing a teenager and injuring many others.
While the cause of the crash has not be determined, International President Larry Hanley says due to deregulation of the tour bus industry safety has been compromised and driver fatigue has been a major cause of these accidents. ?Riders are forfeiting safety for cheaper fares because of the actions of our governments deregulating the industry.??Read more.
The bus had picked up passengers overnight in three Canadian cities before heading south to New York where it veered off the shoulder and rolled over sideways into the median of the highway.
Accidents like these are happening with increasing frequency ? even to drivers like the operator of this motor coach with?30 years of experience and an impeccable driving record. ?Many of the 3,000 competing interstate bus companies in North America feel free to push their drivers into working long hours at low pay.
ATU has called for the passage of the Driver Fatigue Prevention Act. Sponsored by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, this bill would ensure that drivers are paid fairly for the overtime work that they put in above 40 hours per week.
Have you attended an ATU training?
From Chicago, IL to Oakland, CA, from Mississauga, ON to Scranton, PA more than 6,500 ATU members have participated in ATU training this year.
The ATU is recognizing all of those who have attended trainings in the??Members Trained to Date?scroll located on the ATU website homepage and?Education & Training page.
Participants are learning new strategies to empower members to get involved, make our locals stronger, and prepare for the battles ahead. The trainings also cover how to be an effective union member in a hostile work environment, strategies for bargaining, grievance training and methods to effectively build and maintain coalitions with riders, environmental allies, unions and social justice groups.
Don?t miss out. Contact your local and tell them you want to attend a training.
Drivers’ tearful testimony helps pass Winnipeg anti-assault bill
Years of suffering poured out of ATU drivers as they recounted, through tears, the spitting, punching and humiliation they endured at the hands of passengers, during the Winnipeg (MB) City Council?s consideration of a bylaw that will put police cadets on city buses to keep the peace.
The passage of the legislation is the culmination of two years of work by ATU members and Councilor Brian Mayes (St. Vital), who choked up after the law passed, saying, ?People told me their stories, it?s a health and safety issue for the passengers, for the drivers, and I sat through a lot of meetings of people breaking down in tears, even now it?s an emotional thing.
?Very moving to get it through,? he said, ?so hopefully now we can get the cadets on the buses and get that implemented.??Read more.
ATU local leaders take part in innovative public engagement training
Transit discussions at DC area churches; engaging members at Metro garages; public speaking training, mock press interviews; a reporters panel on the do?s and don?t of working with the press; a transit roundtable discussion with the DC Mayoral Democrat nominee Muriel Bowser; and more were part of an innovative public engagement training for ATU local presidents from across North America and Local 689 members in Washington, DC over the past week.
They also held a rally outside WMATA headquarters with ATU’s 15-foot inflatable camel to protest the Board Chair’s conflict of interest (see story above).
The group of nearly 50 participants were immersed in the content rich program focused on engaging members and raising public awareness of crucial issues facing the ATU through effective communications while helping Local 689 on their campaign to fight privatization efforts at Metro. The Local leaders will be taking the skills and knowledge they learned to develop plans in their hometowns to mobilize members and riders to fight for more and better public transit.
ATU denounces FirstGroup CEO pay grab at Scotland shareholders’ meeting
When was the last time you got an 86% raise??Like? never, right?
Well guess what? First Group, the Scottish owner of Greyhound Lines and First Transit in the U.S. and Canada asked its shareholders to sign-off on just that for its top guy ? Tim O?Toole.?That got the attention of ATU, which decided to protest at the multinational?s shareholders? meeting in Aberdeen, Scotland.
The ATU is campaigning to raise the wages and improve the working conditions of terminal workers at Greyhound facilities across the United States and Canada. Greyhound is a North American subsidiary of FirstGroup; three thousand of its employees are represented by ATU Local?1700.
The corporation wants to give O?Toole an ?800,000 raise with an annual ?600,000 bonus, which comes to a total pay package of ?1.9 million.?For those of us on this side of ?the pond,? that equals a $1.37 million raise and bonuses of $1.03 million, which comes to $3.25 million per year.?Pretty sweet, huh??Read more