Amalgamated Transit Union, Canadian Council

Amalgamated Transit Union, Canadian Council

February 25, 2010 13:16 ET

Union Leader Says Liberal Member's Bill Disingenuous and Dangerous

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor, Transportation Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 25, 2010) - Liberal MPP David Caplan's bill to deem transit an essential service is disingenuous and dangerous, according to the head of the Amalgamated Transit Union in Canada.

Robin West, Canadian Director of the ATU's Canadian Council says Caplan's private member's bill is not about the right to strike and lockout, but is simply a grab for publicity. "David Caplan is tired of sitting on the backbench", says West. "Why else would he bring this bill now? No strikes or lockouts are looming in any jurisdiction in Ontario. This bill is just a tactic to put himself in the news."

West points out that the bill will die when the Liberal government prorogues next week. "It's all for show. Dalton McGuinty thinks it's a good time for a public debate on this issue? He should be holding public debates on steps to ensure accessible, expanded, safe transit, as the ATU has consistently lobbied for. The public and transit operators are entitled to a world class transit system that is free from fear of violence."

West adds that designating transit services as essential is dangerous for democracy. "The right to collectively bargain, including the right to strike, is enshrined in Canada's constitution, the highest law of the land. Governments have only taken away this fundamental, democratic right when there is a danger to the life, health and safety of the public. That is clearly not the case here. What other rights will the Liberals eliminate with the stroke of a pen?"

The Amalgamated Transit Union is the largest labour union for transit workers in North America with over 190,000 members. The ATU membership includes bus, subway, light rail and ferry operators, clerks, baggage handlers, mechanics and others in public transit, inter-city, para-transit and school bus industries.
/For further information: Robin G. West, ATU Canadian Director, (416)-679-8846

Contact Information

  • Robin G. West, Canadian Director, Amalgamated Transit Union, Canadian Council
    Primary Phone: 416-679-8846