ATU Local 113 demands action against Unifor for violating CLC constitution
TORONTO, ONTARIO – (March 30, 2017) – In what could be called the most blatant intrusion in Canada’s labour history, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) released a report on March 27, 2017 that found Unifor violated the CLC Constitution by interfering in the affairs of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113, the union that represents nearly 11,000 hardworking transit workers in Toronto.
Barry Thorsteinson, the investigator who authored the report on behalf of the CLC, dismissed the Article 4 application that former ATU Local 113 President Bob Kinnear initiated with the CLC on February 1, 2017. By invoking Article 4 of the CLC constitution, members of a local could start what is called a justification process, a first step for members to disaffiliate from a union. Bob Kinnear initiated this process without the support of the elected Local 113 Executive Board and local members.
“We never doubted for a second that Unifor was plotting and paying for Bob Kinnear’s scheme to rip Local 113 away from the hands of our members,” said Kevin Morton, ATU Local 113 Secretary-Treasurer. “If Unifor can target Toronto’s transit workers with a raid, they could do it to any labour union. Unifor must suffer consequences for violating the CLC constitution, which is crucial for maintaining solidarity within Canada’s labour movement.”
Immediately following the request to the CLC to initiate this justification process, Local 113 members fought back in solidarity and told Bob Kinnear and Unifor President Jerry Dias that Local 113 was not for sale. With overwhelming support for the ATU on the Local 113 Executive Board and among stewards and members, Bob Kinnear resigned as President on March 17, 2017.
The Executive Board of Local 113 calls on the CLC to take action against Unifor for violating the CLC Constitution when it interfered in the affairs of Toronto’s transit union before and during the justification process.