Media Center

May 24

ATU honors our fallen heroes and our fallen brother, renews call to end attacks on transit workers

Silver Spring, MD – John A. Costa, International President of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) issued the following statement to mark Memorial Day.

“This Memorial Day, as we honor servicemembers, including many within our ATU family, who served and made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, we also send our deepest condolences to the family of Tampa bus driver, our ATU Local 1593 Brother and a U.S. Airforce veteran, Thomas Dunn, who was fatally attacked on May 18.

“Dunn’s murder has sent shockwaves across the industry and renewed the call for lawmakers to end the epidemic of attacks on transit workers.

“Unfortunately, this brutal murder is not an isolated incident. Our members do difficult work with professionalism each day, yet these vicious attacks by some angry and violent riders continue. Every week, we hear stories about bus drivers and other transit workers being punched, stabbed, yelled at, spit upon, shot at, and even worse.

“Last month, a Bronx bus driver had urine thrown on her. In Chicago, an "L" worker was stabbed in March while trying to break up a fight.

“It was only a few years ago that our Local 1505-Winnipeg, MB, Brother Irving “Jubal” Fraser was stabbed to death by a rider at the end of his run.

“What makes Dunn’s tragic death even more heartbreaking is that he shared his concerns about bus driver safety at his local transit agency meeting in December after being harassed by a passenger.

“No one should have to live in fear that they might die or even get hurt at work.

“Brother Dunn’s violent murder is a watershed moment in our fight for better protection.

“Already, we are seeing elected officials and transit agencies expressing a deep sense of regret as the public mourns the tragic, unnecessary death of Brother Dunn. They should turn that same compassion into action by making real change to improve safety for transit workers and the riding public.

“These violent attacks can be prevented, and transit workers have already laid out a plan to do just that.

“Congress must pass  H.R. 1139, the Transit Worker and Pedestrian Protection Act, to ensure agencies make the changes needed to eliminate these senseless acts of violence against transit workers and keep riders and pedestrians safe, too.

“We call on all Americans to contact their members of Congress and tell them - "Not One More" life can be lost to legislative inaction. Pass H.R. 1139, the Transit Worker and Pedestrian Protection Act, now! Take action at https://bit.ly/2VGvNXC.”