ATU Happy holidays!

ATU happy Holidays

?As one year ends and another begins, I want to salute the people in the ATU who make it worth being called a union,? wrote ATU International President Larry Hanley in his year-end column in the latest and last In Transit for 2014.

Hanley spoke of the courage this past year of Union officers and members rising to face challenges by ?fighting for themselves and their communities? in St. Louis, Saskatoon, Atlanta and beyond.

In 2015 the Koch brothers, politicians and others will continue to try to divide and exploit us, but the ATU message ?will mimic those of George Bailey in ?It?s a Wonderful Life?? Hanley continues in quoting a famous speech in the classic movie.

?Thanks for all of you who make me proud. That?s what the ATU is about. Happy Holidays…and Onward!? Hanley writes. Read his full column.

12,000 Facebook ‘likes’ and growing

ATU has been garnering the power of social media. Thanks to more members, riders and transit advocatesFB spreading the word about the ATU Facebook page by sharing and liking stories, and recommending our page to “friends” ATU has reached the milestone of 12,000 ?likes?.

It doesn?t stop there. Our next goal is 15,000 ?likes?.

ATU uses social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to engage and inform our members, riders and others interested in public transit about the latest news and developments about ATU, transit, politics and labor issues across the globe.

Get in on the fun. Invite your ?friends? and tell your family to ?like? ATU?s Facebook page to help spread the word on what we?re fighting for when it comes to public transportation. Plus, don?t forget to follow our Twitter handle @ATUComm to stay up to date on what?s trending in public transit, politics and other progressive issues.

00CRtaAnother day, another Cleveland bus driver attacked

Attacks on Cleveland bus drivers have hit epidemic proportions as another driver was brutally assaulted last week.

This latest incident involved two passengers violently hitting the driver after they boarded the bus. The driver suffered?cuts to his face and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The attackers fled and have not been caught.

Just a few weeks ago four teenagers were arrested and accused of pummeling a driver with a sock filled with rocks. Another driver was robbed at gunpoint in July.?There have been 14 documented attacks on members of ATU Local 268 through the end of August and more since.

This is a growing and disturbing trend for transit workers across both the United States and Canada. And the ATU is continuing our campaign to demand transit agencies address this issue for the safety of both the drivers and riders. Some of the solutions to improve safety include installing bus driver shields and increasing transit police. Read more.

ATU and riders organizing around public transit

Over the last few years the ATU has had great success in mobilizing members and riders to fight for more,ATU riders better and safer transit across the U.S. and Canada. With events such as May Transit Action Month, the Fund Transit Rally in DC, and the Year of Transit Action campaign there has been a growing movement demanding change for public transit and working families.

One example is in Pittsburgh where ATU helped establish Pittsburghers for Public Transit (PPT). Founding PPT member Alicia Williamson talks in a recent blog about the importance of coalitions working together to fight rampant layoffs, service cuts, fare hikes, and privatization while building solidarity among the working people who operate and use transit.

“ATU has become an increasingly progressive and activist union in recent years,? wrote Williamson. ?Worker coalitions organizing locally can help build the cultural movements we need to initiate systemic changes and strengthen public control of resources that are crucial to more sustainable and equitable futures.?

In 2015 ATU will continue its push for more, better, and safer transit, while building on the bigger picture of social, environmental, and economic justice, all of which are invariably linked with our cause. Read her full blog.

Labor’s big comeback

Fast Food Workers Organize Nat'l Walkout Over Low Wages2015 could be a strong year for labor and working families. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Labor Department?s Wage and Hour Division may finally gain some footing soon thanks to the Obama administration?s need to make up for lost time. In a chain of last-minute decision-making, the NLRB is issuing more rulings favorable to labor than they have during the entire past six years.

Among the most notable was the decision to hold the McDonalds Corporation jointly responsible for labor-law violations committed by its franchisees. Also on the list was a decision to speed up union elections and streamline Board procedures, a new rule allowing organizers to use company email during non-working times to campaign, a rise in collection of back pay and enforcement, and the launch of a misclassification initiative.

These rulings give more muscle to workers and to the labor movement as a whole, and will hopefully continue in swift fashion going forward. Read More.

eBay dumps ALEC

Alec ExposedCiting the conservative group?s ?extreme agenda?, online giant eBay has decided to end its association with American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The decision comes two months after ATU and 80 other organizations called on eBay to leave ALEC.

ALEC, which is heavily funded by the Koch brothers, brings local lawmakers together with corporate lobbyists to create boilerplate legislation that is introduced in state legislatures to, among other things, weaken and destroy unions and defund public transit. ALEC was behind the ?Stand Your Ground? law that led to the controversial shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin.
In announcing the decision eBay pointed to ALEC?s conservative agenda including ?denying the science of climate change, defunding public services, curtailing workers? rights and opposing net neutrality.?Read more.