Amalgamated Transit Union-Canada

Amalgamated Transit Union-Canada

October 17, 2005 10:50 ET

ATU Calls for Government Action in Wake of TTC Shooting

The ATU considers tactics to spur government amendments to the criminal code to protect its members. Attention: City Editor, News Editor, Transportation Editor MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 17, 2005) - Ken Foster, the Director of the Amalgamated Transit Union-Canada would like to express his sympathy and praise for the TTC driver who was shot in the face this past Saturday. Foster said that "the driver in question exhibited bravery and compassion in stopping to let the young men involved in a fight board his bus late last Saturday evening. For his efforts he is struck in the face with a bullet that could leave him blinded in one eye."

As the union representing over 25,000 public transit and inter-city bus workers in Canada the ATU is very concerned about an escalating trend in violent assaults on its members. Despite the important public service they provide and the accompanying risks they face on the job everyday, transit and inter-city bus operators receive very little protection under federal and provincial laws. While the Canadian government subjects a person who assaults an airline pilot or a flight attendant to federal penalties, the same deterrent is not applied to those who attack the bus operators who transport us daily. Likewise, most provincial laws treat the majority of such attacks only as simple misdemeanor assaults.

Discussions of transit security and assaults against transit and inter-city bus workers dominated ATU-Canada's annual conference in St. John's Newfoundland this past July. The ATU membership made it very clear that they are extremely concerned with the lack of attention being paid to both of these issues by all levels of government. The ATU has always felt that the solution to both of these issues, security and violence, overlap in the categories of employee training, increased security personnel, surveillance and detection technology and, perhaps most importantly, in amendments to the criminal code.

According to Foster, the ATU is, however, "growing impatient with both the federal and provincial government's refusal to address amendments to the criminal code in order to protect ATU members and the public who uses urban transit and inter-city buses from harm. We are looking at a variety of tactics to spur both levels of government to act on this immediately as we refuse to wait until someone is killed performing their duties as a bus operator."
/For further information: Secondary Contact: Chris Byford, Director of Research and Communications./ IN: JUSTICE, LABOUR, TRANSPORT

Contact Information

  • Ken Foster, Director, Amalgamated Transit Union-Canada
    Primary Phone: 905-670-4710
    Secondary Phone: 416-346-1572