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ATU Locals Celebrate the Legacy of Rosa Parks on Transit Equity Day

Every year on February 4th, we commemorate Rosa Parks’ birthday and the courageous seat she refused to give up that sparked a movement. The significance of this day led the ATU to help found Transit Equity Day along with the Labor Network for Sustainability (LNS), bringing together a network of labor unions, transit riders, community organizations, and environmental groups.


Public Transit Is a Civil Right

“Like Rosa, the ATU believes that public transit is a civil right. That means everyone deserves safe, reliable, affordable, and clean transit,” said ATU International President John Costa in marking Transit Equity Day. “The ATU also believes for transit to be truly equitable, we must create good Union jobs. Transit workers deserve a Union that can collectively bargain for living wages, benefits, safe working conditions, training, and other rights. With the recent uptick in violence on public transit, including two recent shooting deaths of ATU members, safety and protections for transit workers and riders must be a priority.”

Once again, this year many of our Locals joined with riders, transit advocates, and community activists to participate in the day of action in communities across North America.


Transit Systems Don’t Move Without Transit Workers

In Providence, RI, our Local 618 joined with transit riders, racial justice organizations, and others to demand the city’s central transit hub remain at Kennedy Plaza. In Wisconsin, our Local 1310-Eau Claire, WI, operators handed out leaflets explaining to riders why their bus ride was free on Transit Equity Day and why there was a seat designated for Rosa Parks on each bus. Our Local 732-Atlanta, GA, took part in the Atlanta North Georgia Labor Council’s Transit Equity March and Rally to celebrate and honor our members who move the city.

“The truth is our transit systems don’t move without transit workers,” Costa continued. “Whether it’s holding a rally, leaving a rose for Rosa, or thanking a transit worker, you’re a part of her legacy. Happy Transit Equity Day!”