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ATU Celebrates Black History Month

This Black History Month, the ATU recognized our own rank and file members who have gone above and beyond, making Black history in our Locals, our Union, and the labor movement. Black History Month began as a way of remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. Our honorees this year include:


Sonya Minnis
Local 448-Springfield, MA 

As a school bus driver for Waterbury, CT, Public Schools, Sonya Minnis wanted a stronger voice in the workplace for herself and her fellow school bus drivers, monitors, and mechanics. A natural leader, Minnis was instrumental in the successful organizing campaign that brought 150 school bus workers to join Local 448-Springfield, MA. As an appointed Shop Steward and bargaining team member Sister Minnis has relentlessly defended her members with passion and commitment while playing a key role in the bargaining of their first contract. A school bus driver of 29 years her dedication to the students and families of Waterbury are her true legacy.


Trevis Brown
Local 689-Washington, DC

A Reservationist at the MV MetroAccess Call Center for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), Local 689-Washington, DC, Brother Brown has led his fellow brothers and sisters in his department through thick and thin. Year after year in contract negotiations, he looked out for the membership. By 2021, he was a key leader in the MV Call Center strike, the first one of its kind in ATU history that led to a strong contract. Thanks to his work and leadership over the years, the MV Call Center went from a churn-and-burn sweatshop to a real career for some of the most ignored and looked down upon workers in the paratransit industry.


Anthony Ayoung
Local 1587-Toronto, ON

A Plant Service Person 2 worker at GO Transit in Toronto, ON, for 34 years, Local 1587-Toronto, ON, Brother Ayoung played a critical role in Local 1587’s historic and successful strike to win a strong contract with key provisions to stop contracting their jobs. He was a key leader in the Local’s Contract Action Team that developed and implemented strategic actions to pressure the employer. Brother Ayoung also recruited other members to participate in petitions, button days, strike training, and other actions. “It was an honour and privilege to help organize. Union proud all day long!” said Brother Ayoung about this work for his Local.


Nathan Noel Lewis
Local 583-Calgary, AB 

Local 583-Calgary, AB, Brother Nathan Noel Lewis, an operator at Calgary Transit for the past fifteen years, has worked tirelessly on groundbreaking political and organizing campaigns for his Local. In 2020 as a vital member of his Local’s Political Action Committee, he collected hundreds of petition signatures and reached out to fellow members in a successful campaign to help elect eight pro-transit, pro-labor City Council members. This year Brother Lewis is serving as a Chief Steward and is a key member of his Local’s Organizing Committee, where he works to organize new members and bring them into our ATU family.