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TOGETHER WE FIGHT, TOGETHER WE WIN!

Since I assumed the office of International President after the tragic and sudden death of International President Larry Hanley, it has been an exceptionally busy and hectic time. As we prepare for ATU’s 59th International Convention—happening September 23-27 in Las Vegas, Nevada—the International remains focused on continuing the important work of the Union.

What has impressed me the most is the hard work and ingenuity of so many people who have devoted their lives to the betterment of our members and our union.

I have witnessed remarkable resilience in our time of great loss. When most organizations might falter, lose their energy, enthusiasm and drive, our union and our members have redoubled our commitment to the cause.

Case in point: the historic victory by our brothers and sisters at the Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA), who won their first-ever collective bargaining agreement after five years of intense union-busting. These new members of Local 1548-Plymouth, MA, had enough of the abuse and greed of their employer, TCI, and decided to strike.

What followed were Locals across the U.S .and Canada rallying to support these striking drivers. Countless members dropped everything to travel to Martha’s Vineyard – not an easy place to get to by the way – to walk the picket lines in solidarity. Members and Locals from coast to coast reached into their own pockets to donate more than $50,000 for their strike fund – yes more than $50,000!

After 28 days on strike and thanks to the support from you – our members  –  they reached an agreement.
Our Martha’s Vineyard brothers and sisters won critical wage gains, job protections, and other improvements they had been denied for years. Their story is profiled on page 11 of this magazine.

Meanwhile, Local 1505-Winnipeg, MB, has engaged riders and community allies in their fight to improve safety and service as they wage a bitter contract dispute with the City. 

In the U.S. we trained our Locals for years in anticipation of the treacherous U.S. Supreme Court decision on union dues known as the Janus decision.  And a funny thing happened.

Rather than devastate our ranks, the Janus decision actually energized our union. We have seen our ranks grow to more than 200,000 – the largest in our storied history.

Now our Canadian brothers and sisters are taking part in Right-to-Work Readiness trainings - using lessons learned from our U.S. trainings - to prepare for the possibility of a Janus-like law coming to Canada. 

And guess what?

If Right-to-Work legislation does come to Canada, I know our Locals, leaders and members will be ready to rise up to the challenge.

We are a union of many unsung heroes that comes together in both good times and bad. 

Because Together We Fight, Together We Win!