Media Center

Engaged and Fighting

As we go to press, battles are raging around the U.S. and Canada. That’s good news, because our Union is engaged and fighting. Some examples...

In Toronto, Local 113 is fully engaged in fights with the Ontario government who are trying to take over the entire system. Strong rumors about the future privatization of the system continue.

In Washington, DC, privatization of the transit system has occurred and is growing. All it brings is low wages and lost pensions and other benefits. Local 689 is working with the International Union to beat this back.

In Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts–the wealthiest place in the bluest state in the U.S.–a public Regional Transit Authority is participating in wage suppression, short staffing, mandatory overtime and essentially refusing to bargain. This will be a test for the Democratic Party. These workers work under a Democratic Party government but are paid under $15 an hour. It is this behavior that is causing working class voters to reject Democratic candidates. 

In Sarasota, FL, Local 1701 members are raising their voices against privatization of their transit system despite elected officials attempting to silence them.

In Connecticut, our Locals are all united in fighting for dignified bathroom access for our members.

 

Standing up and demanding change

We have much work to do. Thousands of ATU members struggle to get by in a hot economy. Salaries of bosses have skyrocketed in the industry. So more and more transit workers are standing up and demanding change. 

Ever-increasing uses of mandatory overtime are creating unsafe conditions. Remember that no employer has the right to force anyone to drive if they are fatigued. Local officers who have this problem and want assistance should call my office. 

It is thick-headed employers who are creating these struggles. They are fueled by greed and lack of interest in working people and their families. 

International President Emeritus Jim La Sala reminded me many times when we discussed attacks by employers and the occasional crisis, that without the ATU there would be no fight. 

Our greatest weapon in these fights is our solidarity. We need to rush to help Locals fighting at the tip of the spear. 

Please support ATU strikes and other struggles. It is critical to the future of our Union.