No booze on board: Drug and alcohol tests coming for TTC staff
The TTC has provoked the ire of its largest union by announcing that it will begin randomly testing its employees for drug and alcohol use starting on March 1.
In a news release on Thursday, the transit agency said that it had given formal notice to its workers that it was moving ahead with the plan, which has been in the works for five years.
Transit union gets another chance to seek compensation
Transit workers were illegally locked out for four weeks in the fall of 2014. The provincial Labour Relations Board earlier ruled that the city had to pay workers back for the first two weeks of lost wages — about $651,ooo altogether. The union argued its members should be compensated for the full four weeks of the lockout.
Lethbridge awarded major funding for transit projects
Transit services in Lethbridge and area got a major boost Saturday with the announcement of $12.55 million in new Federal-Provincial funding.
The City will receive $10.1 million from the province’s GreenTRIP program and $2 million from the federal Public Transportation Infrastructure Fund to support the construction of a downtown regional park ‘n’ ride transit terminal. In addition to the provincial and federal funding, the City of Lethbridge will contribute $4.9 million toward the overall $17 million cost of the transit terminal project.
Letter: Bus drivers thank Rutland residents
During the recent transit strike we, the drivers, sent a letter to you, the residents of Rutland. We wished to explain the situation and appeal to you for help.
Ten thousand letters were mailed via Canada Post. The response was remarkable. Scores of telephone calls and emails were sent to City Hall each hour. At a time in our transit history when a foreign company was attempting to reduce our standard of living and diminish the dignity which our forefathers left for us, we were helped by you, the Rutland residents.
Santa Bus ready to roll
While Santa may not be riding around on city transit this holiday season, the holiday spirit certainly will be, as transit riders lend a hand to those in need.
The 22nd Annual Santa Bus Food Drive will be taking place all this week, starting Monday Dec. 5 and running until Sunday, Dec. 11.
Transit union blames bus design flaw for pedestrian deaths
After a 13-year-old girl was struck and killed by an Edmonton city bus on Nov. 26, transit unions are now saying that a design flaw may be to blame for the tragic accident.
According to the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), a blind spot on the driver’s left-hand side renders pedestrians invisible on Edmonton city buses. The union is now pushing for upgrades to fix the issue and help prevent future injuries and deaths.
Santa Bus Food Drive: Stuff the bus, feed the need
Transit Services and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 966 are teaming up to spread goodwill in our community with the 22nd Annual Santa Bus Food Drive in support of the Thunder Bay Food Bank.
TTC union against swabbing for drug use
The head of the TTC workers’ union wants optical scanners to be used in place of swabs if the transit authority puts in place random drug and alcohol testing.
WHSC – E-lert – Government budget bill attempts to push through highly concerning OHSA changes
Transit Union responds to fatalities
Transit Union votes in favour of new deal with LTC; Commission votes Wednesday
The Bob and Weave In an Orion 7
Family mourns after 13-year-old girl killed by ETS bus
Family members are mourning the death of a 13-year-old girl after she was struck and killed by a ETS bus on Saturday evening.
Relatives have identified the victim as Mariama Sillah, who was in a marked crosswalk when she was hit.
This is the second fatality involving a pedestrian and ETS bus in two months.
The collision occurred at around 7:40 p.m. near 137th Avenue and 40th Street. The girl, who police initially said was 14 years old, was crossing 137th Avenue southbound on 40th street in a crosswalk when she was hit by the bus.
ATU Canada would like to express our deepest sympathies during this tragic time to the victim’s family and the operator.
Hamilton ON – 110th Anniversary of 1906 HSR Strike a Huge Success for Hamilton Transit
On Thursday, November 24, 2016, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 107 commemorated the 110th Anniversary of the HSR Transit Strike last night and encouraged Hamilton citizens to join them in a battle against the privatization of Ontario’s hydro and transit.
The Rally, which was held in front of Hamilton City Hall, welcomed hundreds of concerned citizens, and several other ATU and CUPE Locals.
Guest Speakers, including Ontario NDP Leader, Andrea Horwath, Bob Kinnear, President of ATU 113 (TTC), Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario, and many others took to the stage in support of keeping Hydro One public. Keeping hydro public will continue to mean both affordable and reliable transit fares.
“Anyone who learns that a vote by Hamilton City Council could ultimately give up local control to bureaucrats at Metrolinx who have contracted out other transit lines becomes upset. LRT or BRT – it must be kept under local control through HSR and answerable to local transit riders through local elections,” says Eric Tuck, President of ATU 107.
ATU 1722 Agreement Has Been Approved
In Solidarity to our brothers and sisters from ATU 1722 – Kelowna, BC whose agreement has been accepted!
There was a total of 177 members who voted:
108 – In favour
69 – Not in favour
ATU Canada Attends ATU 1722 Ratification Meeting
Tentative deal in bus dispute
A tentative settlement has been reached in the Central Okanagan transit strike.
Buses could start running again on Thursday.
In a news release issued late Tuesday afternoon, First Canada, the company that operates the Kelowna Regional Transit System, said a tentative deal had been reached. Details of the settlement were not released.
First Canada said the 217 unionized workers would vote Wednesday to ratify the deal. If it’s approved, buses could run again on Thursday.
Happy American Thanksgiving!
ATU Canada is sending our best wishes to all our American Brothers
and Sisters a Happy Thanksgiving!
Put brakes on transit redesign plan : Union
HALIFAX – The president of the Amalgamated Transit Union is adding his voice to the chorus of people calling for the transit re-development plan to be put on hold.
Ken Wilson is pushing to pause the review to give councillors better data on better routes, schedules and passenger counts–something he has been saying for the past year.
“Now we have It’s More Than Buses and a few new councillors echoing my concerns back from a year ago,” Wilson tells NEWS 95.7. “It comes back to the same old thing. We have to look at turnout.”
He says you only have to look as far as transit’s own scheduling department to see why there are problems with the system.
“I started here in 1999 and I’ve seen the scheduling department morph to 20 people in total. It used to be 3. So, we have all of these scheduling experts now, but the product is no different on the road, and it’s ebcause the schedulers don’t use the buses.”
Transit union says gun pulled on striking Kelowna bus driver
Kelowna RCMP say weapon was found to be pellet gun
The union representing striking transit workers in the Central Okanagan says a man pulled a gun on a striking bus driver outside Kelowna’s Orchard Park Mall Monday morning.
Police now say the weapon was a pellet gun.
The incident was reported to have happened just after 10 a.m. PT Monday as transit workers picketed at a mall bus stop.
Bus drivers said the man screamed at the picketers to get back to work. He then allegedly pulled out the weapon, pointed it at a driver and sped away on a bike. No one was injured.
“It’s unbelievable. I’m still processing this,” said Scott Lovell, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1722.
Response to Jordan Cooper’s Article from ATU Canada President, Paul Thorp
Paul Thorp •
It is extremely troubling to hear your position on the Saskatoon Transit Local 615 dispute and I could disagree with you more.
Why should anyone in society settle for less than what is fair and reasonable? ATU Local 615 recognized that the city’s offer was not reasonable and held fast.
Trade Unions have fought for the betterment of the working class for over a century. It was us that stood up to employers and governments for better working conditions, health care and a 40 hour work week just to name a few.
Most recently Trade Unions championed the fight to increase the CPP for all workers not just our own. We are currently fighting for a national pharmacare program for all. We are opposing Bill C-27 which could affect retirees and the benefits they currently receive.
It’s time the working class stop settling for less. Stop taking the scraps of the working elite and hoping that things will get better. Stop settling for precarious part-time employment.
Come together as one united voice and organize.
Paul Thorp President ATU Canada
No end in sight to central Okanagan transit strike
As central Okanagan resident get ready for another work week, their options for commuting will once again be limited. The ongoing transit strike is keeping buses off the roads and making it hard for frequent transit users to reach their destinations.
The strike is now into its eleventh day and there is no end in sight for picketing workers or for transit riders. On Sunday, the union confirmed there are still no talks scheduled between the two sides.
“I wish they would start talking again,” said picketing HandyDART driver, Garth Metcalfe. “I just want to get back to work.”
Picketing workers say they are fighting for their futures.
“If I do get a full time position, I’d like to know that I have a good future laid out for me,” said transit worker Randi Gorcak.
As bus loops remain empty Kelowna’s mayor has entered the fray. On Friday, Colin Basran issued a statement urging the two sides to get back to the bargaining table.
Strike Rally BBQ – November 26/2016
Transit strike day 8: All quiet on the transit front
With the transit strike fully into week two, there’s not a lot of movement from either side, especially First Canada.
With the public growing increasingly impatient, the idea of binding arbitration is starting to become more and more realistic.
Learn from Olivia Chow at the Assembly for Decent Work December 10
Fairness Works Campaign – Support for Refugees: Refugee Crisis
The simulation video puts you, the watcher in the place of a refugee and allows you to experience the events as they unfold.
A Letter to The Honourable Bill Morneau, P.C., M.P.
The Stike at Kelowna Regional Transit
Good evening brothers and sisters:
Today was another busy day. Early this morning, some members boarded a chartered bus and went to Vernon to spread our word to the people of the city and the Vernon riders. There was the rally at the overpass at Parkinson Rec Center. Next were coinsiding rallies at Christy Clark’s constituency office and Kelowna City Hall.
For a complete review of the day’s events, please watch the video at the following link from your president Scott Lovell.
110th Anniversary of the HSR/ATU Transit Strike
ATU Local 107, inviting you to Hamilton City Hall where we will be commemorating the 110th anniversary of a significant historical event in their union – the HSR/ATU Transit Strike.
Back in the early 1900s, a private company, Cataract Power Company, owned HSR and supplied electricity from Brantford to St. Catharine’s including Hamilton at prices well beyond the reach of most residents. A strike in 1906 began when the HSR refused to honour the terms of an arbitration report.
Realizing the important roles that electricity and transit would play in securing the future, 10,000 residents sided with the strikers on November 24th 1906. Their actions drove the political will to create a publicly owned and operated Power and Transit systems through Ontario Hydro.
They recognized the relevance of affordable, reliable Energy and Transit to the economical and sustainable viability of a prosperous future for generations to come.
But now Premier Wynne’s government wants to take us back 110 years and make electricity and transit unaffordable and unsustainable, which is a danger to our economic future.
It’s time to fight back and send a message to all politicians that our vital infrastructure built and paid for by generations of Ontarians is not for sale.
That is why we’re inviting you to join us on Thursday, November 24, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. at Hamilton City Hall to unite against the privatization of Ontario Hydro and the contracting out of Key Transit Lines through Metrolinx.
For more information, please visit our Facebook event page.
Remember: Public Transit, Public Power!
TTC driver endures sneaky saliva attack
TORONTO – While it may be “The Better Way” for commuters, the same cannot always be said for those who drive for the TTC.
There are not many jobs where someone can sneak up from behind and rub a fresh ball of saliva in your face. But no matter how many times streetcar operator Brandon Ogden gets assaulted, he’s not quitting.
“No way. I am going to keep going,” the 36-year-old TTC employee vowed Monday night. “This is my career and I am very proud of what I do.”
Rally at Hamilton City Hall on November 24, 2016 commemorates 1906 HSR Transit Strike and affirms local control of public transit
On Thursday, November 24, 2016, a rally at Hamilton City Hall will be held, starting at 6:30 p.m., to commemorate a significant event in Hamilton’s history – the 1906 HSR Transit Strike – and to bring residents together against the Liberal government’s privatization of hydro and transit.
ATU Local 107 President, Eric Tuck, says history is repeating itself and he is calling on the citizens to join in the fight to preserve Public Power and Public Transit.
“People in Hamilton are angry at the stealth sale of our Hydro system by the Liberal government,” says Tuck, a 28-year veteran of the HSR (Hamilton Street Railway).
Edmonton drivers say new ETS buses could eliminate blind spot
Edmonton bus drivers may have a better view of their surroundings when the city’s new fleet hits the road in the next few years.
The city is looking for contractors to build as many as 205 40-foot, diesel-powered buses over the course of four years, according to a request for proposals issued earlier this month.
Although the city couldn’t provide details on the specs of the buses, the “parts description” section in the document suggests the city is looking for a continuous window, or a “hidden frame” in place of the current frame.
Saskatoon Transit routes disrupted Monday by ATU 615 job action
Job action by members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 615 is affecting some Saskatoon Transit routes on Monday.
City officials said the refusal of drivers to work overtime will affect the following routes and has forced one route cancellation later Monday afternoon:
- Route 4 – the 2:20 p.m. bus leaving the University of Saskatchewan may experience heavy ridership
- Route 6 – there may be heavy ridership at 3:21 p.m.
- Route 22 – the 3:29 p.m. bus leaving the downtown terminal heading to Confederation Mall then to Montgomery at 3:59 p.m. has been cancelled.
Officials said all other buses on Route 22 are expected to maintain regular service from the downtown terminal.
Half-dozen sympathizers join bus drivers on picket line
Striking Central Okanagan bus drivers were heartened by displays of support shown them by some idled passengers.
Since the transit operators walked off the job last week, a half-dozen members of the public have joined them on the picket line at the city’s main bus yard.
“It was nice to see when these people came out, all on their own, to walk with us,” local union president Scott Lovell said Sunday. “We made them honorary members of our union.”
That bit of brightness aside, however, there have been no other significant developments since the strike began last Thursday. Contract talks between the union and First Canada, the company that runs Kelowna Regional Transit, have not resumed.
“We haven’t heard anything from the company, apart from a few complaints about where and how some of our guys are picketing,” Lovell said.
Nevertheless, the mood among the 217 members of the local chapter of the Amalgamated Transit Union remains upbeat, he said.
“The members are very positive. Spirits are good,” Lovell said. “They just want to be treated fairly.”
First Canada has offered a three-year contract with raises totalling 2.5 per cent. In addition to that, the union is looking for wage adjustments it says would add another 1.5 per cent to the company’s total wage bill.
The start rate for bus drivers is about $16 an hour, rising to $26 for operators with the most seniority.
Kelowna drivers are paid about 15-20 per cent less than in Vancouver and Victoria, the union says, with the difference even higher when other monetary-related issues, like the lack of a pension, are considered.
There is a union strike fund the drivers can draw on, but they won’t get paid for the first two weeks of the work stoppage. After that, the payments will be only about $150 a week, Lovell said.
“It’ll help, but it’s pretty minor compared to our regular wages,” he said. “Right now, we’re doing what we can for members ourselves, taking up a collection for people who need some extra help.”
The city has announced some bus routes that will see reduced service due to the transit union’s job action
Some Saskatoon bus routes will see less frequent service after the local transit union commenced labour action Saturday morning.
Routes 17, 5 23, 86 and 12 will all have reduced service Saturday, according to a service alert put out by the city.
“Transit administration may not be aware of all immediate job action but will make efforts to inform the public of delays or disruptions as the information is made available,” the alert said.
The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 615, which represents all of Saskatoon’s transit workers, announced a no-overtime/work to rule job action Friday. The move came after the latest in a long series of unsuccessful negotiations with the city, with proposed pension changes being the main sticking point.
ATU Canada Supports ATU Local 615
Job Action Begins 12:01 AM Saturday Nov. 12th 2016
INFORMATION SHEET ON WORKING TO RULE
Your executive has served notice to the employer that in the event an agreement that we can recommend acceptance to is not achieved then we will engage in a work to rule and ban on overtime directive to our membership that would start at 12:01 am Saturday November 12, 2016. The employer has since given us an offer wanting us to simply sign their pension proposal and then await the arbitration ruling. We proposed that if we lose our pension arbitration ruling then we could accept their proposal. But in the event we win the arbitration ruling ,then they would sign our pension proposal. It is obvious that they are not confident they are going to win the arbitration case because they have failed to accept our proposal. Hence your directive to the executive is to engage in job action . The intent of this directive is to provide the employer further incentive to resolve our outstanding collective bargaining agreement. We believe that there is no alternative other than to act now to send a clear message that we are united and strong in our quest for a fair collective agreement. If you have any questions, please contact a Union Steward or the Office for clarification.
In Solidarity with ATU Local 1722
Good morning Brothers and Sisters:
A legendary day in the Central Okanagan is now in the history books. Our members should be proud of what we accomplished yesterday. The City of Kelowna washed their hands publicly of having anything to do with our negotiations with First Canada. A picket that our members conducted across Hardy Street in front of the City Works yard was respectfully honoured by all unionized city CUPE members. CUPE 338 President Lee Mossman and Vice President for the outside workers Larry Oakley joined us on the picket line and supported our cause. CUPE members parked their work vehicles where they could (in the street and in adjacent parking lots) and were permitted to cross into the yard on foot to get their personal vehicles and leave unobstructed. We are very thankful for the support and respect that CUPE members showed on this day. The city is now on notice that we need their pressure to get First Canada to negotiate a fair deal and to quit bargaining in bad faith.
Today, November 11th, we are asking all members to report to the picket line in some sort of Union apparel (nothing with First name on it please). Most importantly, please remember to wear your poppy as close to your heart as possible! We will attend Remembrance Day ceremonies to honour those men and women that fought to protect the very rights that we are exercising to get a collective agreement. No picket signs will be worn at the Remembrance Day events and all members are asked to not comment or talk about our labour situation while attending out of respect for our fallen veterans.
If any members took pictures on the line, or at any of the external picket sites (Queensway, UBC Okanagan, Orchard Park bus loop) please email them to email@example.com and we will add them to the online gallery that we have started.
Global Okanagan and other media outlets have been getting our story out there. Links below are provided.
In Solidarity we stand with you,
ATU 1722 Executive Board
We fully support our Brothers and Sisters at ATU 1722.
City of Kelowna has few options in transit strike
KELOWNA – While the City of Kelowna says it will stay out the dispute between Central Okanagan bus drivers and the company that manages them, city staff are still keeping a close eye on what could be a long and protracted fight.
Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union local 1722, which represents bus drivers and support staff from Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland and Lake Country, walked off the job this morning, Nov. 10 at 4:30 a.m. and at noon surrounded a neighbouring city works lot on Hardy Street.
President Scott Lovell says forcing city workers to find last minute places to store their work vehicles is necessary in order to get the city’s attention.
Transit strike Thursday
Transit drivers in the Central Okanagan will hit the picket lines Thursday.
The announcement was made Tuesday night by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1722 president Scott Lovell.
Lovell said union members voted to reject the latest offer from First Canada, a multi-national corporation based in Scotland.
Central Okanagan buses still running despite strike notice
Public transit users have a little more time to figure out an alternate form of transportation.
The Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1722, served 72 hour strike notice Thursday, after contract talks ground to a halt and were in a position to take job action as of Sunday. They’re waiting, however, for the membership to weigh in on the deal that triggered the strike notice.
That will be done Tuesday night, said Scott Lovell, president of ATU local 1722.
“Then at that point we will present a strike action plan and the membership will judge what they are comfortable with,” he said.
“We regret we may have to withdraw our services, but we must take action due to the inability of First Canada to negotiate a fair collective agreement with us.”
Hundreds of U of M staff still working but unions encourage support for strikers
3 unions encourage other University of Manitoba staff to join picket line.
Hundreds of University of Manitoba staff members, including sessional instructors, caretakers and administrative personnel, are required to work during a faculty strike, but unions are encouraging them to show support for the roughly 1,200 strikers.
West Vancouver reaches tentative deal with Blue Bus drivers, full service to resume Tuesday morning
After less than a day on strike, Blue Bus drivers will be back on the road Tuesday morning after a tentative agreement was met with the District of West Vancouver late Monday night.
ATU Local 615 Wants MOORE!
Strike will park West Vancouver’s Blue Buses Monday morning
Transit buses will not be running in West Vancouver on Monday after last-minute negotiations between the district and the union representing West Vancouver Municipal Transit drivers and mechanics broke down Sunday night.
West Vancouver Blue Bus employees take full scale strike
It’s official, starting Monday 149 West Vancouver Blue Bus operators and mechanics are putting the brakes on work after negotiation talks with the district took a negative turn.
Striking West Vancouver Blue Bus drivers to suspend service Monday
If you use the Blue Bus Service in West Vancouver, plan for a different mode of transportation – drivers are putting the brakes on service Monday.
The union and district are in the middle of a bitter contract dispute, and drivers began job action Monday of this week with an overtime ban.
Bill Tieleman, Spokesperson for Amalgamated Transit Union Local 134 says they’re now ramping that up.
“It certainly affects those riders who might be going to Vancouver from West Vancouver and taking a Blue Bus. Blue Buses will not be running on Monday. It certainly does cause additional problems potentially for SeaBus because people might be using SeaBus instead of West Vancouver Buses.”
Mouseland – Tommy Douglas
Union concerned for Regina transit workers’ safety after two bus drivers allegedly attacked
Don Baker is concerned for the safety of his fellow Regina Transit workers as he says two bus drivers have been physically assaulted within the past few weeks.
Further, the city is “not even acknowledging that their own employees are being assaulted,” said Baker, the president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 588.
He says bus drivers endure verbal abuse on a regular basis. In his own work as a bus driver, he estimates a customer lashes out at least weekly.
West Van’s Blue Bus service could face disruptions as union plans job action
West Vancouver commuters may face disruptions in bus service beginning on Monday after talks broke down Friday between the District of West Vancouver and the union representing Blue Bus drivers and maintenance staff.
The union has declared a ban on overtime, starting Monday morning, according to Geoff Devlin, president and business agent of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 134, which represents the Blue Bus drivers, community shuttle drivers, servicemen and mechanics.
ATU Canada Supports Local 615 Saskatoon, #WheresTheFairness Rally
On Behalf of ATU 615 I would like to thank each and everyone of you for participating in this event. You have travelled a long distance and sacrificed your time just to be with us and our members have seen firsthand that we have the ATU family supporting us as well as Saskatchewan Federation of Labor and Saskatoon District Labor Council affiliate locals as well as federal and provincial NDP and candidates for the upcoming civic election.
Memo Re: School Bus Drivers
Brothers and Sisters this rally is about all workers and the generations to come. Our children and their children.
Please join the Labour Movement as we Rally for Decent Work in Ontario. We are fighting for a $15 minimum wage and an end to precarious part-time employment.
Let’s send a message the Government can’t deny.
Federal, Ontario Liberals sign $1.49B transit funding agreement
The federal government has cracked open its coffers with $1.49 billion in new transit infrastructure money for everything from new transit vehicles to upgraded stations.
The details were announced Tuesday morning by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne at a municipal transit garage in Barrie, Ont.
About $500 million of the projects announced this morning will be in Toronto, with Ottawa next on the list at $156 million.
Waterloo, Barrie and Sudbury, where the federal cabinet just wrapped up a two-day retreat, will receive about $30.6 million combined for 20 projects.
In Toronto the money will go toward fixing up bridges, a subway yard upgrade and replacing a fire main at Wilson Yard along with upgrades to buses and streetcars.
ATU Member Killed in NJ Transit Accident
Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the fellow ATU member killed and the injured victims of the tragic NJ Transit bus accident.
President ATU Canada