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Sep 24

ATU Pulls Into Las Vegas for 59th ATU International Convention

Under the theme “Together We Fight,” more than 1,400 delegates and guests gather to discuss key public transit and worker issues

September 23-27, 2019 at Paris Las Vegas Hotel

Las Vegas, NV – More than 1,400 transit workers and guests from the U.S. and Canada will take part in the 59th International Convention of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) September 23-27, at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel, where they’ll set an agenda for addressing the critical challenges facing transit workers, riders, the industry, and all working families.

Inspired by the theme “Together We Fight,” delegates will review the successes of the past three years while charting a course to build power for transit workers, fight for more and better public transit, and advance justice for all working people.

The delegates, who represent more than 200,000 ATU members, will elect international officers for the next three years, hear from notable speakers including Presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, Presidential candidate Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, New Democratic Party candidate Matthew Green, and Association of Flight Attendants-CWA International President Sara Nelson, and develop a plan to create a stronger future for transit, union members, riders, and working families.

“At our Convention, our local and international leaders come together to take stock of our accomplishments and develop plans for our future,” said ATU International President John Costa. “We’ll also be remembering former International President Larry Hanley, a visionary leader who elevated the profile of our union but tragically passed away in office in May.”

ATU has seen its membership grow to more than 200,000 transit workers, despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s treacherous JANUS decision, an increase in private multinational transit companies, and union-busting bosses intent on lowering wages and slashing benefits.

“We meet at a critical time of rapid changes for our members, our industry, and our countries. We are dealing with many challenges, including an increase in violent attacks on our members, privatization of transit systems, the cutting of public transit service, the development of autonomous vehicles and other new technologies, and the growth of ride-share companies,” Costa continued.  “Meanwhile, the wealthy and greedy bosses continue to see their bank accounts grow as working people continue to struggle and communities see public services gutted.”

As the epidemic of attacks on our transit workers rises, ATU has been pushing for passage of the Transit Worker and Pedestrian Act (H.R. 1139/S. 436) in the U.S., which has more than 150 cosponsors in Congress, and Canadian locals are calling for similar legislation in Canada.

“We have a very busy week ahead of us and are looking forward to building our solidarity and strength,” says Costa. “While we have accomplished much over the past three years, we must set a strategic vision for the future to raise standards and build power for transit workers because if ‘Together We Fight’ then ‘Together We Win’!”