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Time to demand healthy, safe, and secure workstations

Among the many issues the International Union focuses on, one of the most important is the improvement of our members’ lives at work – particularly when the problems preventing improvements are not easy to resolve at the local level.

Nothing fits this bill better than the challenge of improving the physical workstations in which we perform our various jobs. The international union department charged with improving the safety and health of our members has been hard at work on this, and I want to compliment them here. But their best compliment will come when our members begin to actively support their work at the local level.

On the national level, bureaucrats in Ottawa and Washington might accept our views as interesting points, but government agencies are slow to change, and... oh well... it’s true: The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

September is our time to squeak! We need to raise our voices throughout North America and declare it’s time to deal with transit workers’ health and safety.

We’re throwing a… resolution!

So on this, the 125th anniversary of ATU, we are not throwing a party – we’re throwing a resolution. We’re asking all our Local Unions to pass a resolution so that, with One ATU Voice, we will say to our agencies and companies across the continent: “Fix this!”
We are calling on our industry to bring the best technology to our buses and trains, starting with the driver’s workstation. If we can get North America to adopt the advanced European motor coach workstation we will:

   • Reduce assaults
   • Reduce accidents
   • Reduce pedestrian fatalities
   • Reduce the crippling effects of bad drivers’ seats on our members
   • Begin to get the attention of the people who make the decisions that affect our lives, decisions that currently create unsafe workplaces.

Here’s the plan:

We are asking every transit Local to pass a resolution at their September local union meeting demanding workstation improvements across the board. We are calling upon your employer to stop buying buses with engineered blind spots, and no protection for the driver.

That’s it for September. Act together, and build international support for a safe workplace.

In this issue you’ll find a resolution that we’re asking every Local to pass. If your local officers have not brought a motion to pass this resolution to your local union meeting, please offer it yourself.

This is our chance to act on behalf of our bus operators. We will turn our focus to our other job titles in coming issues. in September 2017, as we cross the threshold of ATU’s 125th anniversary year, let’s do so celebrating our common bond – in action!