ATU Local 113 is sounding the alarm to something we’ve known, yet the TTC has ignored, for years: our jobs, including safety critical positions, should not be privatized as they create unsafe conditions for our brothers and sisters.
The TTC routinely hires unqualified contract workers in the maintenance department. These workers receive less training and often operate transit busses without a valid bus driver’s license.
The lack of training and qualifications has jeopardized our safety. On August 16, 2017, a brother was seriously injured when a bus at the Wilson Bus Garage in North York hit him. The operator of the bus, a TTC contract worker, was going well above the 7 km/h speed limit at the facility when the incident occurred. The speed at the time of the incident was confirmed through GPS and video footage.
The TTC failed to follow agreed upon health and safety procedures by not notifying us about the serious injury. We learned about the incident hours later from the injured worker who messaged union representatives from the hospital.
This serious injury is part of a troubling pattern with the TTC contracting out our jobs. In 2014, a contract worker crashed a TTC bus at the Wilson facility, causing significant damage to two busses. Not only did this contract worker not have a license to drive a bus – the operator had no license at all to drive a vehicle!
Two-tier Drug and Alcohol Testing
Following the worker injury at the Wilson Bus Garage, the TTC failed to provide a drug and alcohol test for the contract worker who was operating the bus. Contract workers, including those in safety critical positions, are exempt from the TTC’s random drug and alcohol policy. All of this while our brothers and sisters are subjected to testing – exposing a double standard when it comes to the policy.
While ATU Local 113 is strongly against and continues to fight random drug and alcohol testing in arbitration, the TTC has created a two-tier system that punishes our members.
Our safety is non-negotiable. To secure it, we must stand together to stop the TTC from contracting out our jobs.