Media Center

Jul 16

ATU joins Strike for Black Lives, July 20

Amalgamated Transit Union joins with racial and social justice organizations
and other major unions for nationwide rallies, walkouts and other actions

Silver Spring, MD - Calling on the government and corporate America to confront the systemic racism and oppression of communities of color that has plagued our society and economy, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) is joining the Strike for Black Lives on July 20.

“A global health pandemic, an economic depression, and continued structural and systemic racism have converged in a perfect storm, and the lives of working class people of color have never been more at risk. The ATU proudly stands in solidarity with our sisters and brothers who are Striking for Black Lives on July 20,” said ATU International President John Costa. “We must dismantle the racist policies that target our communities to ensure all workers are healthy, safe, and secure no matter their race, immigration status, gender, job, or where they live.”

ATU Locals and members will join in select actions and rallies across the country on July 20, as thousands of workers stand down from work for eight minutes and 46 seconds in memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain and other Black people killed by police.

Among the actions, all of which encourage mask-wearing and social-distancing, ATU will be participating are:

Chicago, IL - ATU Locals 241 and 308: March/caravan and rally – Rally at Thompson Center (100 W. Randolph St) at 10:30 a.m. Depart at 11:30 a.m. for rally at McDonald’s (180 W. Adams St) at 12:00 p.m.

Detroit, MI - ATU Local 26: Rally and strike support – Rally at McDonald’s (20405 Conant Ave) at 1 p.m., march to rally to support nursing home strike at Hartford Nursing Home (6700 Outer Drive) 

Toledo, OH - ATU Local 697: Picket and rally at Advanced Healthcare (955 Garden Lake Parkway) from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Oakland, CA – ATU Local 1555: Rally Mosswood Park (3612 Webster St, Oakland, CA) 11:00 a.m.

Seattle, WA – ATU Local 587: Rally at the Office of King County Executive Dow Constantine, (401 5th Ave Seattle, WA) at 4 p.m.

Washington, DC - ATU Local 1764: Rally at Upper Senate Park, Delaware and Constitution Ave NW at 12:00 p.m.

As COVID-19 continues to rage on as states reopen, it has taken a far greater toll on communities of color, killing dozens of black men and women in ATU’s own ranks. They are dying in higher numbers because governments and employers see no need to protect the working class essential heroes working on the front lines of this pandemic.

Workers taking action are demanding solutions from government and corporations to focus on communities of color to dismantle racist policies and promote economic justice for all workers. Specifically, striking workers are demanding: 

  • Justice for Black communities, with an unequivocal declaration that Black Lives Matter, as a necessary first step to winning justice for all workers.
  • Elected officials and candidates at every level must use their executive, legislative, and regulatory authority to begin to rewrite the rules and reimagine our economy and democracy so that communities of every race can thrive.
  • Corporations take immediate action to dismantle racism, white supremacy, and economic exploitation wherever it exists, including in our workplaces, and to protect essential workers with proper PPE.
  • Every worker must have the opportunity to form a union, no matter where they work. 

“We are living through a pivotal moment in global history that will determine the future of our nation,” said Costa. “Now is not the time to be observers on the sidelines. Now is the time to rise up together to inaugurate a new day of racial and economic justice for all.”