Doug Ford throws workers under the bus with “Making Ontario Open for Business Act”

Press Release

October 23, 2018

Media Contact: John Di Nino, 416-938-0746

Toronto, ON – Calling it an attack on working Canadians and their families, the Amalgamated Transit Union Canada condemned Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government pro-business plan.

“Doug Ford and his provincial government are taking us back to the days when people couldn’t take paid sick leave, get equal pay, earn three weeks of vacation and other basic rights and protections that all workers deserve,” said ATU Canada President John Di Nino. “We condemn this bill as nothing more than a kickback to Ford’s business buddies at the expense of Canadian workers who make our country the proud nation it is.”

The proposed legislation “Making Ontario Open for Business Act” rolls back key provisions of Bill 148, labour legislation providing equal pay for part-time and temporary workers doing the same job as full-time employees, increased vacation, and expanded personal emergency leave to 10 days per year, two of them paid. In addition, the bill cancels the promise of boosting the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

“Doug Ford is throwing workers and their families under the bus with this proposed legislation. Our nation is one of the most progressive in the world and the ATU vows to stop this attempt to roll back the rights workers have fought hard for,” Di Nino continued.

TTC Upload Press Release

August 16, 2018

For Immediate Release: ATU Canada President John Di Nino

TTC Is For the Working Class and We Are Not For Sale

With Premier Ford’s announcement yesterday to upload the TTC to the province, ATU Canada is demanding that the continued gerrymandering decisions of the Progressive Conservative Government must cease immediately. ATU Canada fully agrees and supports Mayor John Tory’s statement that before any decisions are made, a robust conciliation must take place between the provincial government, the City of Toronto, TTC management, its employees and the taxpayers.

Just like the Premiers platform -which was never released- Premier Ford has no quantifiable numbers to justify uploading the transit system.

Currently, the TTC operates the most efficient transit system in North America, based on the current funding model. The TTC needs to be funded correctly to serve the citizens of Toronto. For example, years ago, York Region privatized the transit system and riders now pay more money for less service.

ATU Canada believes that the citizens of Toronto deserve reliable cost-effective transit, regardless of where they choose to live – be that in downtown Toronto or in the suburbs north of Steeles Avenue.

Premier Ford’s campaign stated that he was for the people, yet his decisions pertaining to uploading public transit are completely unfounded and for his own political gain.

Countless transit systems around the world have seen the catastrophic effects of privatization – cuts to service, increased fares, and the safety of the public. One thing remains true, the only people that benefit from the privatization of public transit are the conglomerates that own them.
Public transit was designed to get the working-class people to and from where they need to go, reliably and cost-effectively.

We don’t want a repeat of Hydro One.

For media details contact John Di Nino 416-938-0746


National Transit Union Body to Province: Put the Brakes on Subway Upload

Toronto, ON – It’s Hydro all over again. The Liberal government is seeking to upload and, ultimately, privatize the TTC subways in a process they call “optimizing” under a “different ownership model.” The extreme policy shift is buried deep in a side note in a 300-page budget released Wednesday. The province is calling for the takeover of oversight, operations, and maintenance of Canada’s second busiest subway system in a move that would allow the government to privatize the 64-year old transit service. ATU Canada is calling for the removal of this article from the provincial budget and, in conjunction with ATU Local 113, is mobilizing members across the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area to oppose the proposal.

“Many Ontarians will recall that this is exactly what precipitated the disastrous sell-off of Hydro One,” said ATU Canada President Paul Thorp. “Make no mistake: turning public services into private profit centers is a plan straight out of the PC playbook. For some reason the Liberal government has embraced it and is racing to implement transit privatization across the province.” Thorp pointed to policies released last year by the Progressive Conservatives that favoured handing public transit over to private companies.

Thorp also says that the privatization of transit would not be any better for transit users and workers in Ontario than the sell-off of Hydro was for rate-payers. “The uploading of the TTC subway would prove detrimental to the millions of Torontonians and Ontarians that use that service daily,” he said. “The city of Toronto would lose local control and accountability over the daily operations and maintenance of one its more vital pieces of infrastructure, not to mention the catastrophic affect privatization can have on front line workers who see their hard-earned wages, pension, and benefits diminished by private contractors.” Thorp also noted that the TTC is an integral part of the community, employing thousands of workers from diverse economic, racial, and cultural backgrounds and allowing for a decent living in a city known for its melting-pot multiculturalism.

For the past year, ATU Canada has been coordinating a campaign—dubbed “Keep Transit Public”— in favour of public ownership and operation of transit. The campaign began in Hamilton, ON, in June 2017 and has focused on ending the use of public-private partnerships (P3s) in transit and other public services.

“Across Canada, the U.S., and Europe, private transit has proven again and again to be more costly and less safe,” Thorp said. “Private companies can and will raise fares and reduce service in pursuit of profit.”

For more information on the Keep Transit Public campaign and to sign our petition please visit The Amalgamated Transit Union represents 34,000 members across Canada including the 11,000 frontline workers of the TTC.


NTU Media Release