Media Center

Oct 8

ATU “Driving Justice” at Toronto Convention

Toronto, ON – Building on the Convention theme “Driving Justice” the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) set a strategic vision to build power for transit workers and riders, fight for more and better public transit, and raise standards for working families as the union wrapped up its historic 58th convention in Toronto, ON.

The more than 670 delegates redoubled the ATU’s commitment to fight multi-national private transit companies, to stop climate change, to stand up to wealthy right wing elitists who will stop at nothing to destroy unions and the middle class, and to continue to increase educational and training opportunities for ATU leaders and members.

On Thursday delegates representing more than 197,000 ATU members re-elected International President Larry Hanley, International Vice President Javier Perez and International Secretary-Treasurer Oscar Owens. Also unanimously re-elected were International Vice Presidents Richard Murphy, Bob Hykaway, Janis Borchardt, Paul Bowen, Kenneth Kirk, Gary Rauen, Marcellus Barnes, Ray Rivera, Yvette Trujillo, Gary Johnson, Sr., Robin West, John Costa, Chuck Watson, Claudia Hudson, Bruce Hamilton, Michelle Sommers, and Jim Lindsay.  International Representative Manny Sforza was elected to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of International Vice President Larry Kinnear.

“I am honored and humbled to be re-elected to lead a union of leaders and activists who make a difference in their communities,” said Hanley. “Our leaders recognize we face many challenges. Multi-national companies are trying to take over transit systems at the expense of workers and riders. Billionaires and their political stooges are attempting to destroy democracy, gut public services, marginalize workers and debilitate communities. Our delegates pledged to fight back more than ever.”

The Union also pledged its support to elect Hillary Clinton as U.S. President. Over the next four weeks ATU will wage an aggressive campaign to mobilize members and riders across the country in support of Clinton and candidates who support public transportation and working families. In 2012, ATU conducted an unprecedented GOTV campaign leafleting millions of transit riders, rallying thousands of its members, and joining with candidates to transport voters to the polls.

Throughout the convention the transit workers in attendance learned about innovative campaigns of ATU Locals, exchanged ideas, and heard from notable speakers such as A. Phillip Randolph Institute President Clayola Brown, Canadian Labour Congress Executive Vice President Marie Clark Walker, retired CWA President Larry Cohen, former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-HI, and others.

“It has been an amazing week, I have learned so much exchanging ideas with fellow delegates and listening to great speakers throughout the entire week,” said one delegate. “I now have the tools to better serve my members, build coalitions with riders and community allies, and more.”