Media Center

The ATU delivers victories for pro-transit, pro-worker candidates in Alberta municipal elections

Former ATU Local 569 bus operator Amarjeet Sohi elected Edmonton Mayor

Silver Spring, MD –Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) members across Alberta took their organizing skills from the workplace to the polls, mobilizing fellow members and riders to volunteer, vote, and deliver election victories for pro-transit, pro-worker candidates in Edmonton and Calgary municipal elections yesterday.

In Edmonton, former ATU Local 569-Edmonton, AB, bus operator Amarjeet Sohi was elected as Mayor of Edmonton, the first person of colour in that office. Four of the Local's eight endorsed Councilor candidates won, tipping the balance of power toward labour at a critical time in the Local's fight for a fair contract. In Calgary, 8 out of 14 ATU-endorsed candidates won, including Jyoti Gondek as Calgary's first woman mayor. In both cities, several candidates won by narrow margins, proving that ATU volunteers helped make the difference.

The ATU's efforts began in earnest months ago with a comprehensive organizing campaign at Locals 569 in Edmonton and 583 in Calgary, with assistance from ATU International and ATU Canada. Both Locals put member participation and education at the center of their electoral campaigns. This included setting up action committees—called PAC in Calgary and CORE in Edmonton— of volunteer member-organizers charged with systematically recruiting and mobilizing rank-and-file members to get involved.

"This campaign was an extraordinary effort on behalf of ATU members to change the political landscape in Alberta by electing candidates who share our values," said ATU International President John Costa. "Our members have been talking to their co-workers long before the endorsements were made, building solidarity and participation, which was the foundation of these victories. We congratulate everyone who ran and won, including one of our own, Amarjeet Sohi, Mayor-elect of Edmonton, and Jyoti Gondek, the first woman elected Mayor of Calgary."

As part of the comprehensive campaign, ATU knocked on more than 7,500 doors across Calgary, conducted phone banks and other actions in the weeks leading up to the elections. In Edmonton, every member living in the target wards was phone banked by a co-worker, and hundreds of fellow residents received a knock on their door from ATU volunteers.

"Strengthening our hand in local government is critical in provinces like Alberta, where provincial legislators want to weaken labour," said ATU Canada President John Di Nino. "This is a testament to the power of organizing, not just on the job but out in the community. Congratulations to all our members who made these victories possible. I'm so proud of the work that went into these remarkable campaigns. We look forward to building on this momentum and working alongside our elected officials to deliver safe, affordable, reliable, and accessible public transit for all Albertans."