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Elections Are Important

As public workers, our wages, benefits, and rights on the job are impacted more by politics and elections than other workers. Although many public employees, including many of our own members, work for private employers, it more or less ends up a work-for-less proposition. At the end of the day, an elected official or an official appointed by the same elected officials controls our workplace environment, rules, wages, and  benefits. This is true in both the U.S. and Canada.

Furthermore, as assaults on our members and our riders continue to rise, both of our governments continue to do nothing to end this senseless violence.

For our service to keep our cities moving, we deserve good wages, benefits, safe work environments, and the comfort of knowing after coming to work, we will make it home safely. We are an important cog in our community and are essential to our economy and quality of life. However, our dedication and hard work are often times overlooked by elected officials. Why? Because in a lot of instances, the ones elected do not support our issues or we vote in opposition to our best interest. 

The 45th Canadian Federal Election is not scheduled until 2025 (possibly in 2024) and could have some of the same battles as in the States. We should prepare for those fights for the best interests of our members, our families, our Union, and our industry. ATU Canada is holding their 2024 Canadian Legislative Conference and Lobby days from March 18-20. This will be a great opportunity to educate our elected officials in Parliament about what matters most to our ATU members throughout Canada and get their commitment to support our causes.

In the States, I believe we are in for the fight of our lives to protect our Democracy and many of the workers’ gains under President Joe Biden. Workers, particularly transit workers, have seen large gains over the past four years of his Presidency. We have had unprecedented work stoppages and organizing gains that have been significant to boosting the labor movement.

While I wished everyone saw things as I do and voted the way I do, it’s wishful thinking. I can, however, encourage our members to participate in the election process. Remember, it’s your civic duty as a citizen to vote.  I also encourage you to support our ATU-COPE fund. ATU-COPE is our Committee on Political Education and is used to provide the best information on candidates for office and where they stand on our issues.

ATU-COPE is our voice in the halls of government to get issues our Union and members care about passed into law. ATU-COPE opens doors for our members on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures and local governments all across the U.S. Whether your transit system has funding, whether you have a safe and secure workplace, or even if you have bargaining rights is determined by elected officials from the local level to the highest office in the nation. Your ATU-COPE contribution strengthens ATU’s political and legislative agenda, giving you a powerful voice at all levels of government.

So, I encourage you to get involved this election cycle and consider making a voluntary contribution to our ATU-COPE Fund by visiting