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International President Costa Touches Down in Seattle, WA

On the heels of the ATU 60th International Convention, ATU International President John Costa was back on the West Coast meeting with members of Local 587-Seattle, WA, on the job. After touring the Local’s Union Hall, he visited with bus operators and maintenance workers at the King County Metro’s South Base and our members at the downtown Seattle Light Rail station.

“Your Local President Ken Price and our convention delegates set a vision for our Union at our convention to build power for you, our members. We are going to do that by addressing changing technology in our industry, promoting mental health in the workplace, and fighting for strong contracts, but also justice and equity for all our members,” Costa told our members in thanking them for being frontline heroes. He had the opportunity to listen to our members’ concerns and talk about how the International can help them and their Local.

Rally for King County Access Transportation Workers

Later in the day, Costa joined with Price and elected officials, including Washington State House Transportation Co-Chair Bill Ramos, State Senator Joe Nguyen, Solid ground Operator Ninus Hopkins, Washington State Labor Council President Larry Brown, and Transit Rider Union member Katie Wilson at a rally for our Local paratransit members working for Access Transportation in their fight for a fair contract and dignity and respect on the job, including fairness with appreciations bonuses that left out paratransit workers. 

“When COVID hit, we went to work, we didn’t work from home…We lost 220 members. We have orphans in our Union. King County needs to step up and realize that we’re essential. MV and these private companies need to stop this,” Costa said at the rally. “This isn’t a profit business, this is a public business. King County needs to bring it in house like most of the agencies are doing now. We’ve been down this road before, brothers and sisters. Our members are tired of being disrespected. I’m here to call King County out and any politician that isn’t stepping up.”


Costa chairs ITLC Board meeting

The next day, Costa chaired the International Transportation Learning Center Board of Directors Meeting to discuss the latest issues affecting the transportation industry. 

Costa led the board in a discussion about recruitment campaign efforts to address the worker shortage and the fact that more needs to be done to attract and retain employees, including better pay, benefits, and flexibility. The board also got an update about zero emission buses, the 2022 Making Connections Conference, and finally, a Strategic Workforce Plan for the transit industry.

Thank you, Seattle, for the warm welcome! It was an honor fighting alongside you.