Members of ATU Local 113’s Executive Board will meet with TTC CEO Andy Byford on May 3 to demand action regarding the union’s longstanding concerns about the potentially harmful air pollution in the subway system.
ATU Local 113’s Executive Board demanded this meeting with Andy Byford following news reports about an independent study by Health Canada, the University of Toronto and McGill University that found high concentrations of fine particular matter, including iron, in the subway system are approximately 10 times the level found outside TTC stations. We’re concerned the kind of particulate matter that was measured in the study, known as PM2.5, has been associated with lung problems. Health Canada guidelines advise that indoor concentrations of PM2.5 “should be kept as low as possible.”
When ATU Local 113 meets with Andy Byford on May 3, we’ll demand answers to the following questions:
- Why has the TTC failed to conduct an air quality test in 22 years despite repeated requests from our union?
- When did the TTC first learn about the high concentration of pollutants in the air that subway workers breathe underground – sometimes up to 10 hours a day?
- How can the TTC assure subway workers they will not get sick by simply putting in an honest day’s work?
- Why won’t the TTC allow subway workers to protect themselves from air pollution by wearing masks while working underground?
With the release of the recent study, ATU Local 113 is demanding an independent investigation. In the meantime, we will consult with our own expert to determine the health and safety implications for our members.
ATU Local 113 will continue to stand up for our members’ health and safety. It’s our top priority.