Amalgamated Transit Union, Canadian Council

Amalgamated Transit Union, Canadian Council

July 29, 2005 10:58 ET

ATU, Canadian Council, Calls for Government Action on Safety

The Amalgamated Transit Union, Canadian Council's National Conference in St. John's, dominated by discussions of transit security and assaults. Attention: Assignment Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor, Transportation Editor ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND--(CCNMatthews - July 29, 2005) - The Amalgamated Transit Union, Canadian Council's National Conference in St. Johns, Newfoundland has, so far this week, been dominated by discussions of transit security and assaults against transit and inter-city bus workers. Director, Ken Foster, said that the ATU membership, which numbers over 25,000 transit and inter-city workers nation-wide, has 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.

"Our executive members of all of the locals across the nation feel 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 amendments to the criminal code, and all of these will require a significant amount of funding that is separate from that already promised. We intend to lobby the federal and provincial governments in Canada to dedicate a set number of dollars to be used by transit agencies to improve system security."

The theme of "safety" for transit and inter-city bus workers and the riding public was reiterated throughout the first two days of the conference. Foster said that they also intend to "Lobby the federal government to impose federal penalties upon persons who attack Canadian transit and inter-city bus workers. These workers receive very little protection under federal and provincial laws. The federal government has put billions of dollars into airline security and yet, in comparison, they've put almost nothing into security for public transit and inter-city bus operations. It works out to approximately 160 dollars for every person who flies each year and 1 cent for each person who takes public transit and/or inter-city transportation. Considering that many more people travel on transit and inter-city buses than fly each year, this is unfair to both the public and our members who work in the transit and inter-city bus industries."

The events in London England over the past two weeks seemed to have strengthened the resolve of the membership. Foster said that if lobbying efforts do not produce results the union, which feels very strongly about the issues of security and assaults on inter-city bus operators and other transit workers, may have to look at any and all approaches to these problems as permitted by law.
/For further information: Secondary Contact: Chris Byford, Director of Research & Communications (905) 371-6029/ IN: JUSTICE, LABOUR, POLITICS, TRANSPORT

Contact Information

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