In remembrance of our fallen Brother, Irvine Jubal Fraser who lost his life on February 14, 2017 from an act of violence while at work with Winnipeg Transit and in support of his family and coworkers:
Amalgamated Transit Union Canada and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 741 wishes to pay tribute to a life cut short, and recognize the continued attacks that happen to Transit Operators throughout the country on a daily basis
Irvine Fraser died after an altercation with the last passenger on his bus that refused to get off at the end of the line. A struggle ensued and the passenger allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed Irvine who later died of the injuries caused by his assailant.
Recent statistics show that there are five transit operators assaulted on a daily basis across Canada. This number does not include the number of assaults that go unreported.
There are different forms of assault that transit operators are subjected to on a daily basis; verbal abuse, threats of physical harm, death threats and physical assault (spitting, punching, kicking, biting, etc…).
Amalgamated Transit Union Canada and its local unions are calling for our governments and employers to stop putting a dollar amount on humanity.
Amalgamated Transit Union Canada and its local unions are calling for the Transit Employers in Canada to:
• Design bus run times schedules with more operating time. The current tendency to reduce time on bus schedules is causing operators to be subjected to the frustration of the public.
• Redesign the Drivers Area so that operators have a closed compartment away from passengers. Similar to train operators and airline pilots.
• Provide clear directives to drivers to assist in dealing with problem passengers and provide adequate support where needed.
When an assault does happen the courts need to apply the full measure of the law introduced by Bill S 221, This enactment amends the Criminal Code to require a court to consider the fact that the victim of an assault of a public transit worker to be an aggravating circumstance for the purposes of sentencing. Stop negotiating plea bargain deals. ATU Canada seeks 10 years imprisonment for an indictable offence and 18 months for a summary conviction.
This is not a “Knee-jerk” reaction, but rather a measured response to the lack of support from employers and the courts of Canada in dealing with those who assault transit workers.