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Contentious CLC report on ATU crisis falls short

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On March 27, CLC Investigator Barry Thorsteinson submitted an 11 page report to CLC President Hassan Yussuff on the ATU Local 113 crisis. His report notes that with the March 17 withdrawal of Bob Kinnear’s request for the CLC’s justification proceedings, the case ends with the filing of his report. No full investigation is to be conducted.ORIGINAL

The Thorsteinson report makes a number of preliminary findings. The first is that Unifor stands in violation of the CLC Constitution for its interference in this dispute. The report notes that the CLC will determine what response if appropriate.

Thorsteinson’s report also notes that the ATU has failed to cooperate fully with the justification process by ceaseless attempts to discredit the CLC and calls for the process to terminate. To a much lesser extent, during this investigation as described earlier is two specific instances of refusals to cooperate by withholding requested information.

The report also finds that President Yussuff and the CLC were not involved in any plot to assist Kinnear, or Unifor, in the justification process.

Hassan Yussuff sent a letter along with a copy of the report to the affiliates. In that brief letter he notes the investigator cleared the CLC and that he calls for unions to strengthen the Article 4 protocol.

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Transit union leads rally for reversal of Sask. government’s STC cut

People gathered on the steps of Saskatchewan’s legislature Thursday to protest the government’s impending closure of the Saskatchewan Transportation Company.

The rally was organized by the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1374, the union representing the employees whose jobs will be eliminated when the service closes by the end of May.

“We don’t elect governments, we un-elect governments, so Mr. Wall, remember that,” ATU Local 1374 president Eric Carr told the crowd.

Demonstrators, including labour and student groups, called on the government to reverse its decision to scrap the provincial bus company, saying that in addition to employees who will be out of work, rural residents and low-income earners who depend on the service will be hurt by the cut.

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Seniors, students and bus drivers rally to save STC

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The final days for the Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC) are ticking down, but pleas to save it have not stopped.

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1374 organized a rally on the front steps of the Saskatchewan Legislative Building and were joined by members of CUPE, SEIU West, Students Mobilizing Against Cuts, Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry, seniors, STC riders and STC operators to call on the government to rethink its decision to decommission the STC.

Ken Younghans has been an operator for more than 20 years and although he will soon be unemployed, his main concern is about the people who ride the bus.

“I’m not happy I’m losing my job, but in the same respect, I can find another job. But the people in this province are not going to get the same quality of service they have been getting for the past 71 years,” he said after the rally. “As a taxpayer I think what this government is doing is appalling. It’s disrespectful and I think they need to wake up and smell the coffee because they are hurting a lot of people. They are hurting the people who voted them in — the rural people.”

Younghans is worried about what will happen to those who depend on the bus like seniors, the isolated and the sick.

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National Day of Mourning

Friday, April 28, 2017, is the National Day of Mourning. We at ATU Canada remember those who have lost their lives or suffered an injury or illness on the job.

ATU Canada remembers and honours all fallen workers, and we fight for increased safety in the workplace.

 


Next stop: a better transit system?

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Winnipeg transit advocates are hoping an event series could spark a movement calling for improved bus service in the City of Winnipeg.

Advocates who are worried transit is “very rarely talked about in Winnipeg” have a plan to change that this year; it involves “humanizing transit” for riders, city councillors, and soon, a new transit director.

Joseph Kornelsen, who chairs the citizen group Functional Transit Winnipeg, said outside of safety concerns and rapid bus lines, decision-makers and Winnipeggers alike seldom look critically at the city’s existing transit service.

He explained how that lack of widespread criticism and the notion that “we’re a car town because that’s what Winnipeg was built for,” has siphoned momentum off support for a better public transportation system.

The result has been, by Kornelsen’s assessment, an underfunded, infrequent service that doesn’t serve people as well as it could on many of its often circuitous routes.

“So what we’re trying to do is reframe the conversation so we’re talking about how the service actually works,” Kornelsen said. “We want to bring to the forefront what it means to have a good service, show people what an effective transit service looks like.

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Winnipeggers say city needs transit police: survey

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Ever since the fatal assault of a transit operator in early 2017, the local transit union has been calling for more dedicated transit police.

The union representing transit drivers has learned Winnipeggers share its desire for more dedicated police riding city buses.

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) local President John Callahan said it’s telling that a “broad range” of residents surveyed for Probe Research between March 13 and 28 support the union’s call for increased enforcement.

“It seems to be that people using transit as well as people who are not using it hear what’s going on and understand the issue,” Callahan said, referencing the “almost daily occurrence” of operator assaults, which were brought into the public eye after one such assault in February had fatal consequences.

Of the 600 adults polled, Callahan said the fact 64 per cent agree a dedicated transit police force is needed means the union’s call for such protection isn’t just anecdotal, and wouldn’t just be welcomed by drivers who fear for their safety.
“We wanted these real numbers,” he said. “They speak for themselves.”

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