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Day One of the ATU Canadian Legislative Conference 2024

Today, on Transit Worker Appreciation Day, more than 60 ATU leaders from across Canada gathered in Ottawa, ON, for the first day of the ATU Canada Legislative Conference to talk about the importance of engaging in political action, lobbying, and elections.
International President John Costa addressed the attendees firing up the room with a now famous ATU chant. “If we don’t get it. What are we gonna do? Shut it down,” Costa shouted, calling to Local 616-Windsor, ON, President/Business Agent Dragan Markovic, who recently won a strong contract after a strike threat.
“For me, this is the first ATU Canada Legislative Conference that I have attended in person. I’m proud of Canada and what our Locals and members are doing, fighting back,” Costa continued. “We’ve had a recent successful strike at Local 107 Hamilton and other Locals threatening strikes. The next couple of days are going to be busy. You are going to lobby your Members of Parliament and push for dedicated transit funding and better protections for our members, who have seen attacks and violence rising across Canada. Thank you for all you do and please know the International is proud to fight alongside you.”
Costa led a discussion on the fights our Canadian Locals have faced, organizing successes, and the importance of putting together a strong team at your Local. Also in attendance were International Executive Vice President Yvette Trujillo, ATU Canada President John Di Nino and International Vice Presidents Manny Sforza, John Callahan, and Ken Wilson.
Participants heard from longtime friends of the ATU, Member of Parliament Mathew Green and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh along with CUTA President Marco D’Angelo.
The meeting featured lively and informative discussions about the important role politics play in fighting for the rights and interests of our members, our families, our communities, and public transit in Canada.
ATU staff also made presentations on how to run effective election campaigns, an update on key legislative issues, Organizing, Political Action Committees, and Battery Electric Buses, and other issues impacting our members.