Skip to main content

ATU Conference Boards Kick Off the New Year to Chart Course for Battles Ahead

ATU’s Legislative Conference Boards exist across our Union to bring people together with the goal of educating and training ATU leaders and to share strategies and tactics to advance our Locals and fight for our members in each region. These boards can be a powerful force for change for our Union. With a critical Presidential and Congressional election in the U.S. and key provincial and municipal elections in Canada, our Conference Boards will play an important role in mobilizing our Union and members.


Northwest Conference Board meets in Phoenix, AZ

Early in January, International President John Costa, International Executive Vice President Yvette Trujillo, and International Secretary-Treasurer Ken Kirk traveled to Phoenix, AZ, to attend the ATU Northwest Conference Board meeting chaired by Local 1433-Phoenix, AZ President Bob Bean. 


United We Stand

Costa thanked and addressed the Locals in attendance about the successes and the challenges of the last year and what’s on the horizon for the ATU in the year ahead. He discussed our Union’s innovative initiatives on apprenticeships and workforce development, trainings for our members, micro-transit and new technology, driver safety, including a bus redesign to protect our members from violence, and other issues important to our members. 

Locals gave reports of their work fighting for our members’ rights in the Northwest, thanking the International for the support they’ve received to advance our collective cause. 

On day two, attendees heard additional Local reports and discussed trainings to further enhance their knowledge to serve our members.


Honoring Shirley Block

After the Conference, attendees visited the Local 1433 Union Hall to break bread and honor Local 757-Portland, OR, President/Business Agent Shirley Block on her upcoming retirement after 48 years as an ATU Member. She started as a Shop Steward and rose up to become the first black woman President of her Local. “Shirley, whatever you wish your retirement be, may it be,” said Costa. “Thank you for all the service, the time, the commitment, and the passion you had to make sure your members were represented and that the ATU flag flew high in Portland. We’re going to miss you.” 

Thank you to our Locals in attendance, including Locals 1433-Phoenix, AZ, 1001-Denver, CO, 1015-Spokane, WA, 1505-Winnipeg, MB, 1517-Idaho Falls, ID, 1637-Las Vegas, NV, 1722-Kelowna, BC, 1765-Olympia, WA, 987-Lethbridge, AB, 883-Everett, WA, 843-Bellingham, WA, 758-Tacoma, WA, 757-Portland, OR, 615-Saskatoon, SK, 587-Seattle, WA, 583-Calgary, AB, 569-Edmonton, AB, 382-Salt Lake City, UT, 398-Boise, ID, and Local 19-Colorado Springs, CO.


New England Joint Conference Board Convenes in Mystic, CT

The ATU New England Joint Conference Board met in Mystic, CT, bringing together more than 100 leaders from Locals across the region to talk about critical issues affecting our members, our Union, and our communities.

Costa kicked off the conference, thanking the Locals for their leadership and talking about the importance of training, organizing, political action, and the support of the International for our Locals in their fights to best advance the interests of our members and our Union. Prior to the conference, the ATU kicked off our new innovative two-day Shop Stewards training for Local leaders (see article on new ATU Shop Stewards Training).


Building Our Union & Protecting Our Members

“It’s been an exciting three days with you in the Northeast. Now you need to take what you learned here into shops and on the road to engage more members and officers,” said Costa, reminding the Locals of the challenges ahead. “I believe microtransit is our next big fight. It’s our privatization fight that’s coming.” Costa also talked about the importance of de-escalation training, elections, and organizing the unorganized to build our Union and protect our members.

Joining Costa were IEVP Trujillo, IST Kirk, International Vice Presidents Stephan MacDougall and Mark Henry, along with ATU Canada President John Di Nino, Conference Board Chair Jim Evers from Boston Carmen’s Local 589 and recently retired IVP Richie Murphy.

Thank you to all the Locals in attendance for this productive and inspiring meeting and trainings including Locals 22-Worcester, MA, 174-Fall River, MA, 281-New Haven, CT, 425-Hartford, CT, 443-Stamford, CT, 448-Springfield, MA, Boston Carmen’s Local 589, 618-Providence, RI, 714-Portland, ME, 1037-New Bedford, MA, 1209-New London, CT, 1512-Springfield, MA, 1547-Brockton, MA, 1548-Plymouth, MA, 1578-Lowell, MA, 1588-South Windsor, CT, and 1763-Rocky Hill, CT, as well as a delegation from 689-Washington, DC, 107-Hamilton, ON, and 113-Toronto, ON.