Amalgamated Transit Union, Canadian Council

Amalgamated Transit Union, Canadian Council

August 07, 2009 15:36 ET

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) repeats the need to protect workers

The ATU Canadian Council, the largest Transit, Inter-City, Para-Transit and School Bus Union in Canada, wants an end to the rapidly increasing incidence of assault on its drivers.

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor, Transportation Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 7, 2009) - Robin West, the Director of the (ATU) Amalgamated Transit Union-Canada today repeated the need to protect transit workers from the increasing volume and severity of assaults happening against them.

This week in Calgary, a bus driver was hospitalized after being brutally attacked by three men who also spray-painted the victim as they left the bus. Last Sunday in Vancouver, a bus driver who pressed the emergency button and called transit security after witnessing two men involved in an altercation on his bus, was punched in the face and had his head slammed into the steering wheel. Fortunately, visiting police officers from Finland witnessed the assault and apprehended the attacker until Vancouver authorities arrived. These are just two examples of the daily incidents occurring across Canada.

Almost 40% of Canadian transit workers have indicated that they have been physically assaulted in their career. In 2008, 2,064 assaults were reported by transit workers, an increase of 438 assaults over reported cases from 2007.

"With the increase in assaults on transit workers, action has to be taken to protect operators. I applaud those transit properties in Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto that are installing safety shields on vehicles and encourage the others transit properties to follow suit", says Robin West.

"We are also actively pursuing with the Federal Government amendments to the Criminal Code that would recognize the increased number of assaults on our members, the vulnerability of these workers and the dangers they face. Not only are our drivers at risk when assaulted, but so too are the riders who place their faith in our drivers to transport them safely to their destinations. An assault on a driver with a vehicle in motion risks the lives of our worker, the passengers and the public in the vicinity of the vehicle. The goal of our efforts with the Federal Government is to give the police and prosecutors all the necessary tools to fully and effectively bring to justice those who assault transit workers," declared West.

The (ATU) Amalgamated Transit Union represents over 30,000 transit workers across Canada.

Contact Information

  • Robin G. West, Canadian Director, Amalgamated Transit Union, Canadian Council
    Primary Phone: 416-806-7620