Sisters and Brothers,

Last night, an ATU Local 113 member and operator from Eglinton Division was violently assaulted after asking four riders to wear masks while on a TTC vehicle. After the operator was assaulted and injured by these riders, TTC management refused to drive the operator to her work location. Instead, she had to wait 15 minutes for a bus that was running in back to the division.

It’s insulting that the TTC expects our members to drive packed buses, yet it can’t drive an operator who has just been assaulted back to their division due to COVID-19-related concerns.

The disturbing rise in assaults against transit workers throughout the pandemic is absolutely unacceptable and outrageous.

ATU Local 113 demands answers from the TTC. We are also demanding that the TTC and City of Toronto do more to protect transit workers against violent assaults. There needs to be more resources on the TTC system to ensure the safety of workers and riders. The TTC needs to enforce its mandatory masks policy for riders.

In addition to the enforcement of masks, the TTC can better protect workers by reimplementing rear-door boarding on buses, blocking the two seats behind bus operators, stopping cash payments and cease issuing paper transfers to bus riders immediately.

If members ever feel unsafe such as when carrying maskless riders, we’re reminding them that they have the right to refuse unsafe work.

Even as our members potentially face these dangerous situations, the Ontario Government has still not prioritized transit workers for COVID-19 vaccines.

We need immediate action from TTC management and the City of Toronto.

In solidarity,

Carlos Santos,
President, ATU Local 113