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We Want YOU For Team ATU!

Welcome to the ATU Football Issue. We’re using this popular national preoccupation to make a couple of important points.

  • First the number of people, including our members, who pay strict attention to sports far exceeds the number who pay attention to politics and legislation.
  • The average American can name more football players than members of congress.
  • Ruthless billionaires are taking full advantage of our lack of interest in following congress—pushing though devastating tax cuts for the rich, engaging in unnecessary global conflicts, and changing laws to hurt the middle class.
  • We can act to change this.
  • Members of parliament are pushing through anti-union legislation to take away the rights of workers across Canada.
  • We need to pay more attention to the teams that are really hurting us and our children by cutting education, but expanding military programs.

The ATU continues to prepare for a very action-packed 2014. The U.S. transportation funding bill will be up for renewal. This is our opportunity to get federal funds for transit. Also in 2014 there will be mid-term congressional elections. In Canada, legislators are attempting to pass Bill C-4, which would have negative impacts on our collective bargaining rights and there are key municipal elections to be held in a number of provinces.

 

Join us

Key to the fights ahead is mobilizing our members. We need to get ATU out of the stands and on to the field. If you are an ATU member and want to be more involved in your Union the first step is to see your union officers and stewards and tell them you want ATU training in 2014. Also email us directly at Training@ATU.org.

We are working right now with your local union officers to plan and produce the biggest training program in our history. Are you ready to help ATU become less of a spectator and more of a player on the field? Don’t gripe – sign up today.

 

Assaults must stop

As I write this I have just heard about more assaults on bus drivers around the U.S. and Canada. In Canada we are trying to pass federal legislation to protect transit workers from assaults, and in the U.S. we are meeting over the next several weeks with federal agency heads to press the need for more attention by transit managers and lawmakers to this growing epidemic. I am a bus driver and I have been assaulted while driving. I have attended the funerals of my brothers who were killed in assaults while driving.

I know how it feels and I know that we must do everything we can to be sure our members return home after their day’s work. As labor singer Anne Feeney sings: “We just come to work here, we don’t come to die.” The joint indignities of being beaten up at work and not having sanitary bathroom breaks continue to be high on the ATU agenda.

But if you are tired of workers and our families being kicked around like footballs in the game of life then we are going to have to make it a point to focus at least as much on our jobs as we do on our entertainment.