COVID-19

Stay Informed

Here you will find important information to help you stay informed about the ATU’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This includes official statements from the union and International President Costa and critical news updates regarding COVID-19 and its impact on our members, union, and industry.  

If have questions or concerns about the information here, you should contact your Local or contact the ATU Command Center at commandcenter@atu.org.

 

ATU welcomes transit funding in COVID Relief Bill, but GOP pulled off a “Highway Robbery”

Struggling transit systems across the country will receive much-needed relief in the end-of-year $900 billion COVID package passed by Congress, says the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), the largest union representing transit workers in North America. Although, the last-minute cuts to critical transit, motorcoach, and school bus funding were “short-sighted and harmful.” The final bill included $14 billion for public transit and only $2 billion for the motorcoach and school bus industries.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, our members have been heroes on the frontlines providing critical transportation to keep their communities moving. We have lost 101 brothers and sisters to this deadly virus,” said ATU International President John Costa. “This new aid is welcome and will be critical to stave off layoffs and restore service for riders. However, let’s call it like it is. This was literally a highway robbery, and the suspects are the Senate Republicans.” Read release.

ATU calls on governors to prioritize transit workers as essential in vaccine distribution

With hundreds of transit workers killed, including 94 ATU members, from COVID-19, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) has called on governors across the United States to prioritize frontline transit workers in the first rounds of COVID-19 vaccin­­e distributions. ATU International President John Costa wrote a letter to every governor to inform them of the request and offer logistical support in vaccine distribution.

“The recent promising news of multiple quality vaccines for the coronavirus has lifted the spirits of all Americans, including the hundreds of thousands of transportation workers who have been on the front lines working through this very dark period in our nation’s history,” Costa wrote in the letter to governors. “On behalf of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), the labor organization representing the majority of these brave workers, we urge you to provide early vaccine access and availability for our members in the transit and school bus industries.” Read release.

 

ATU Local Unions Survey: 64 percent of transit agencies unprepared for COVID-19

In April 2020, ATU embarked on an intensive, 95-point survey process intended to take stock of the health and safety conditions faced by members. In one-on-one phone calls conducted with more than 200 Local Union presidents and business agents representing more than 250 bargaining units. The key finding showed most transit agencies were unprepared for the crisis and that many have since failed to implement critical health, safety, and economic measures that it says could save lives today and our transit systems tomorrow. Click here.

 

ATU endorses bipartisan SMART Fund 

ATU has endorsed the bipartisan $500 billion SMART Fund that will provide states and localities with the robust, flexible federal funding in order to keep public transit and other essential services running. The State and Municipal Assistance for Recovery and Transition (SMART) Fund, co-authored by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), builds upon the existing $150 billion set aside in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help states and local governments.  Read more.

 

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


ATU salutes our members and all workers on Int. Workers’ Day

On International Workers’ Day, the ATU paid tribute in a video to our more than 200,000 members putting their lives at risk during COVID-19 and all workers in our fight for better protections and rights on the job.


ATU / TWU Joint Union Letter to National Governors Assoc. (NGA)

The ATU and TWU demand U.S. Governors include transit systems in PPE supply chain and require transit riders wear masks amid COVID-19 pandemic. Read letter.


ATU, TWU, SMART-UTU Joint Union Letter to Leadership - Transit Worker Priorities

Our nation’s transit workforce has been on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. During the pandemic, our members have been classified as essential employees across the country. They have continued to come to work in order to make sure doctors, nurses, police, grocery store clerks, and others can get to their jobs and back home to their families.This has put transit workers at an increased risk of exposure for the coronavirus. Read letter.


ATU remembers our fallen members on Workers’ Memorial Day

On Workers’ Memorial Day ATU created a video to honor the memory of our fallen members and the brave work our sisters and brothers continue to do each day on the frontlines in the fight against COVID.


ATU to FTA - Urgent Need for Personal Protective Equipment for Transit Workers.

Nationwide, hundreds of transit workers have already tested positive for Coronavirus, and several have died. Our members are getting infected at a rate that is much higher than the general population because we are continuously exposed to large crowds of transit-dependent riders at close range without the necessary PPE to keep us safe. (PDF)


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


Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

Questions and Answers regarding Hospitals and Health System  (PDF)