Archive for March, 2017

An unprovoked assault on an ATU member

On September 5 2015 @ approximately 7:05 PM I was brutally assaulted while on layover at Sherbrook and Broadway. The attack was unprovoked and without warning (Yes unprovoked despite my reputation…..Union and management will back me up on that)
Receive a concussion that led to months of headaches. Several bit marks (Fortunately no broken skin) and lots of hairs pulled out. Along with the drivers side window smashed

A 6 minute attack that is considered by many of those that seen the video to be one of the most brutal they have seen. (4 operation supervisors and a union rep) Some have never seen worse.

A passerby was my initial savior who first contained the assailant for a bit. When the assault continued for a short time after escaping the passerby’s attempt to restrain the assailant a road supervisor arrived and pulled the assailant of me (I truly wish I could remember his name) followed immediately by WPS who took the “suspect” into custody.

The assailant was a 17 year old native female. 2 to 3 inches taller then me and out weighed me by a good 50 pounds,

I missed several days work after that and a few more after later on due to headaches. My broken glasses and time off where covered without issue by WCB.

I believe it was early 2015 that the The House of commons passed a bill that made assaulting a bus driver equal to assaulting a police officer (Aggravated assault I believe is the term) Basically saying….A more serious penalty.

She pleaded guilty and today was sentencing day

The crown mentioned several times how brutal the attack was. And also mentioned the new laws protecting drivers several times.

Defense went with the race card with statements that her grandmother was a child of the Residential schools. Also went with drinking problems and that she did not get along with mother and sister prior to the assault.

Judge started of asking her how she was getting along with her mom and sister. Asked her how counselling was going etc etc. During this time I leaned over to my supervisor who was also there and whispered ” why do I feel like I am in the principles office”
Judge brought up the severity of the charges regarding the new laws several times.

Judgment came up as follows (Just the basics here)
3 months deferred custody . Basically house arrest with being confined to house. and a curfew.
( https://www.irwinlaw.com/cold/deferred_custody_and_supervision )
A curfew and
Drug/alcohol counselling required
A $250 fine
18 moth probation after sentence

Needless to say…..I am disgusted by the result. Not sure what would have made me happy in sentencing. May not have been happy of 3 months in custody….but would have been accepting of that. But 3 months deferred custody? No bus ban?
Sorry courts ……You failed miserably yet again.

Might as well take down the code of conduct…
Might as well remove the “Assaulting a bus driver could = jail time” ads off buses

We are out there on our own kids…..We have no legal back up

A letter sent to the administrator from Mr. Cooter

You might say is old news but in fact, risks are extremely high for bus operators in these days.

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.

Axe, brass knuckles lead to arrest after Winnipeg bus ride Friday night

Incident comes on heels of fatal stabbing that killed Winnipeg bus driver

The arrest of a Winnipeg Transit passenger in possession of an axe and brass knuckles on Friday night raises more concerns for bus drivers, says their union president.

The incident is the latest in a string of troubling events that have occurred recently on city buses, Amalgamated Transit Union president John Callahan said Saturday morning.

“I’m very concerned,” said Callahan. “There’s so many operators right now that are scared.”

​Police confirmed Saturday they arrested a 22-year-old male at Watt Street and Nairn Avenue just after 9:30 p.m. Friday night.

Officials said the suspect got on the bus near Regent Avenue and Bond Street shortly after 9 p.m.

Braedon Andrew was sitting in the back of the half-full bus and said the suspect started waving the axe around.

“[A] suspicious looking person was waving around the axe, not trying to like intimidate anyone really, but just really being awkward and holding it out,” he said.

A few passengers saw what was happening and were able to disarm the suspect, Andrew said. The passengers then led the suspect off the bus with the help of the driver.

“I definitely felt threatened because anyone wielding an axe on the bus is not a good sign,” Andrew said.

When police arrived the suspect was standing on the sidewalk.

He’s since been detained on two counts of possession of a weapon and two counts of failing to comply with conditions.

Troubling trend

The incident comes on the heels of a fatal stabbing that left Winnipeg Transit driver Irvine Jubal Fraser dead after his last stop of the night at the University of Manitoba on Feb. 14.

Callahan said drivers are becoming increasingly worried about their safety and one bus operator received a threat earlier in the week.

“Her husband, who’s also a driver, actually rode with her last night. So it’s fortunate that that incident didn’t happen on their bus, but there’s a lot of concern out there.”

Callahan said since Fraser’s death, there have been other troubling incidents on city buses.

‘People being totally outrageous’

He said that last weekend, a passenger threatened to stab a driver. And earlier on Friday, another passenger was caught with two steak knives in his pockets.

After last weekend’s incident, “the operator called into the control centre very upset,” Callahan said, adding some passengers are “pushing buttons” to make things worse.

“There was a passenger that was asked to scan their transfer by another bus operator and he said, ‘You know what, this is why you guys get killed.’

“Some people are being just totally outrageous in the comments that they’re making in light of such a serious issue.”

Courtesy of CBC News

ATU Canada asks Unifor locals to end Dias’s raid on 113

ATU Canada reached out to all of the locals of Unifor in a letter, asking the Canadian union’s members to encourage their president “to cease his interference,” into the affairs of Local 113-Toronto, ON, “so that we can all return our focus to the daily struggles facing Canadian workers.” ATU Canada explained to the union’s members that, “It is now crystal clear that President Dias is seeking to raid ATU Local 113, and has found a willing partner in a rogue ATU local president, Bob Kinnear.” And that, “Kinnear’s maneuvers were a direct violation of the ATU Constitution and General Laws, Local 113’s by-laws, as well as an egregious violation of all trade union norms of democracy and respect for the members’ rights.” Read more.

buy valacyclovir