COVID-19

The ATU takes seriously all threats to our members and the riding public, and stands ready to assist in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Canadian Public Health Agency (PHA) have been responding to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), and have confirmed that the virus has infected more than 183,000 people in the United States and 8,500 in Canada. Resulting at least 3,700 deaths in the United States and 95 in Canada.

ATU members interact with the public on a daily basis and are at a heightened risk of contracting the coronavirus and other communicable diseases. This requires that we be vigilant, be prepared and come together; and avoid panicking and resorting to fearmongering.

COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of influenza (for example, fever, cough and shortness of breath), and the current outbreak is occurring during a season when respiratory illnesses from influenza and other viruses are prevalent. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. The CDC and others report that people who are most at risk are either people over age 65 with weakened immune systems due to age, or who have underlying chronic diseases.


ATU is monitoring the coronavirus and will continue to provide updates to our members.

 

Infection Prevention

Wash your hands often and correctly

Wet your hands, scrub everywhere (under those fingernails, too) with soap for at least 20 seconds, then rinse and dry well with a clean towel.

How to wash your hands: You're probably doing wrong and don't even know it, experts say.

 

 

 

Avoid touching your face, including eyes, nose and mouth

It's easy to touch a surface that may be contaminated with the virus and then unknowingly touch your face. The virus can transfer from your hands to your nose and mouth and then enter your body and make you sick.

How to stop touching your face: It's harder than it sounds – even for health officials.

Cover your cough or sneeze

Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose as you cough and sneeze and then throw it out. Wash your hands immediately after. You can also cough or sneeze into your elbow. This helps prevent respiratory droplets from spreading to those in close contact with you.


Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Please clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that you touch frequently such as steering wheels, fare boxes, mobile telephones and keyboards.
 
If members have concerns about contamination, they should report their concern to the employer and immediately contact their medical practitioner for proper testing and treatment.

Our Demands to Transit Agencies and Private Contractors

Amalgamated Transit Union Calls for Stronger Protections for Frontline Transit Workers as the Coronavirus Pandemic Escalates

“We’re essential to our countries’ battle against COVID-19, trying to get other first responders to the front line, to keep the economy going,” said Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) International President John Costa. “Yet our members -- bus drivers, rail operators and the mechanics and other transit workers maintaining and disinfecting vehicles -- are being unnecessarily exposed to coronavirus due to negligence and disregard by many contractors and transit agencies across North America.” Read Statement.

 

Our Demands to Transit Agencies and Private Contractors include, but are not limited to:

•  Increased health and safety measures for transit workers and the riding public,
    including gloves, masks, sanitizers, and other protective measures.
•  Pandemic leave for anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19, exposed to them,
    or with family or childcare obligations resulting from shutdowns.
•  Rear door entry and eliminating transit fares, where appropriate, to support
    social distancing.
•  Retaining employees and maintaining wages and benefits during service curtailment.
•  Service continuation to avoid overcrowding.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Employer Demands Leaflet

Presidential Statements

International President Costa's Letter to Congress Regarding the Coronavirus Crisis. Downloadable (PDF)


International President John Costa telephone town hall on ATU COVID-19 Command Center (Full Length)

ATU International President John Costa conducted a live telephone town hall this week with ATU International leaders and all Local Business Agents from across the U.S. and Canada to discuss the launch of the ATU COVID-19 Command Center. IP Costa's vision and intent for developing this Command Center is to provide a rapid response mechanism to address the ongoing and ever-changing crisis associated with the coronavirus pandemic. Local Business Agents heard from ATU staff and experts about the Command Center, industry and worker relief legislation in the U.S. and Canada, ATU COVID

Coronavirus - Legislative Update

ATU applauds Congressional passage of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, $25 billion for critical emergency transit funding.

Silver Spring, MD – For providing a lifeline to public transit workers and riders, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) praised Congress’s passage of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, with $25 billion in emergency relief for public transit systems. That is funding that should be used to keep transit workers safe on the job and keep service on the streets for people who rely on transit for essential services.

“Since the coronavirus pandemic began, transit workers have put themselves in harm's way in service to their communities, often with little or no protection from COVID-19,” said ATU International President John Costa. “With this money, agencies should immediately purchase and deliver the critical safety protections our members need to continue to provide strategic transit service for our communities, and they should use it to prevent layoffs at transit agencies that have had to reduce service.”  READ RELEASE

Federal Transit Administration Action on Coronavirus

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced that all transit providers in states where the Governor has declared an emergency related to COVID-19 may use their existing federal formula funds for operating expenses in addition to capital expenses. Under normal rules, agencies in large urbanized areas may generally only use such funds for capital expenses. During this emergency, all systems, regardless of population, may use their FTA funds for labor costs, and local matching requirements have been reduced.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act - Question and Answers: HOSPITALS AND HEALTH SYSTEM  (PDF)

AFL-CIO Highlights of H.R. 748 (CARES Act) Memorandum  (PDF)

What Steps Have States Taken To Address Coronavirus?


ATU Resources

Announcing our ATU COVID-19 Command and Response Hotlines! These hotlines serve as a place rank-and-file ATU members can get more information on the union’s response to COVID-19 and leave messages.  If you have questions about your employer’s policies or are seeking assistance to deal with your employer on COVID-19 issues, please contact your Local Union’s Business Agent. Any messages will be followed up on by an ATU organizer or representative as soon as possible.


WORKPLACE SAFETY CHECKLISTS

1. Safety Procedures Checklist

2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Checklist

3. Cleaning and Disinfecting Checklist

4. Vehicle Operation Checklist


LEAFLETS

The ATU has created the following Coronavirus (COVID-19) leaflets that you can download and share with your fellow ATU members, please click on the links to view and download:

1. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Alert Leaflet

2. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Employer Demands Leaflet


MEMES

The ATU has created the following memes in order to help spread awareness to our members. You can download each meme by clicking on the link below or by visiting our Facebook and Twitter pages and sharing the posts.

1. ATU Coronavirus (COVID-19) Rank-and-File Membership Coronavirus Hotlines

2. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Employer Demands meme


Additional Coronavirus Resources

Here are additional resources that can be helpful:

How long does the coronavirus live on surfaces?  Coronavirus can survive on common materials for hours or even days. Here's what you need to know and how to protect yourself.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights   -  The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020.

Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. (Non-Federal)  -  The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

ATU Canada urges Ministers to provide critical protection for transit workers in Coronavirus pandemic.

APTA-Labor COVID-19 Transit Funding Request to Congress - On behalf of America’s public transportation industry and its frontline employees who operate and maintain public transitand commuter railsystemsacross the country every day, we urge you to provide $16.0  billionin immediate, desperately  needed  supplemental  funding  to  keep  our transit and  commuter  rail systems  safe  and  operational  in  the  months  to  come,and  to prioritize thatfunding in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Management of COVID-19 Guidelines for Public Transport Operators - These  guidelines  have  been  prepared  in  February  2020 in the framework of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)  outbreak.  They  aim  to  assist  public  transport operators in tailoring business continuity plans responding to the specific challenges of communicable diseases.

Unemployment Insurance Protections Responding to the Coronavirus State Developments (March 19, 2020)  -  On March 12, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a guidance to the states clarifying the measures that can be taken to ensure that workers who lose their jobs or are temporarily separated from work due to the coronavirus can better access unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2019 Novel Coronavirus Webpage 
This website provides information, guidance and links to additional resources including What You Should Know, Situation Updates and other Information. This website also has the CDC response, latest news and more. The CDC will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance.

CDC Newsroom This website includes CDC announcements and events, latest news, available transcripts and audio of telebriefings, press releases and more.

U.S. Department of Labor/Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 2019 Novel Coronavirus Webpage: This webpage provides information for workers and employers about the evolving coronavirus outbreak first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The information includes links to interim guidance and other resources for preventing exposures to, and infection with, the novel coronavirus—now officially named COVID-19

Canadian Public Health Agency Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Frequently asked questions (FAQ), Canadian Public Health Agency.

World Health Organization - Rolling Updates on Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): On this website, you can find information and guidance from WHO regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that was first reported from Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019. Please visit this page for daily updates.



ATU Going Above and Beyond in the COVID-19 Pandemic


ATU going Above and Beyond in the COVID-19 pandemic

 

If you have an inquiry about a coronavirus issue, please contact your Local union or email the International at coronavirusalert@atu.org.