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The ATU Celebrates the Legacy of Rosa Parks on Transit Equity Day

Amalgamated Transit Union International President John Costa released the following statement to mark Transit Equity Day and Rosa Parks' birthday.

“Transit Equity Day is a day for us to come together to remember the spark that ignited a movement when Rosa Parks made history by refusing to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.

“As founding members of Transit Equity Day, the ATU has a long history of working together with riders, climate activists, and transit advocates to achieve our collective goals.

“Like Rosa, the ATU believes that public transit is a civil right. That means everyone deserves safe, reliable, affordable, and clean transit.

“The ATU also believes for transit to be truly equitable, we must create good Union jobs. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, Unions have the ability to transform ‘misery and despair into hope and progress.’

“Transit workers deserve a Union that can collectively bargain for living wages, benefits, safe working conditions, training, and other rights. With the recent uptick in violence on public transit, including two recent shooting deaths of ATU members, safety and protections for transit workers and riders must be a priority. 

“The truth is our transit systems don't move without transit workers.

“Right now, our Local 689-Washington, DC, members in Loudoun County, Virginia, are on strike for a fair contract that allows them to live in the same county where they work and have a secure retirement after serving their community.

“After Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat, she said she refused to get up because she was tired. Not physically, but she was tired of giving up. Our members are tired, but there's no giving up in them either. 

“They brave hazards like the pandemic and assaults and fight like hell for fair contracts recognizing their service and sacrifice. As our members continue to bravely walk the picket line, I'm reminded of Rosa's courage and first step towards justice that led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

“Whether it's holding a rally, leaving a rose for Rosa, or thanking a transit worker, you're a part of her legacy. Happy Transit Equity Day!”