Sisters and Brothers,
As we recognize and celebrate Labour Day 2020, we acknowledge that this has been a year like no other for our union, Toronto and beyond.
Through a global pandemic, layoffs and 62 Sisters and Brothers testing positive for the coronavirus, ATU Local 113 members have been serving our city every single day this year. We thank each and every one of you for your distinguished service. Your commitment is nothing but inspiring, and I have never been prouder to be the President of ATU Local 113.
Whether it’s fighting for health and safety, protecting jobs or advocating for government funding, Labour Day 2020 reminds us of the importance of being united through a strong organized labour union.
Before the pandemic was even declared, ATU Local 113 was busy advocating for our members’ health and safety while the TTC dragged its feet. Face masks may be a common sight nowadays but let’s remember that our members weren’t even allowed to wear them on the job until March. We fought for that, called for masks to be mandatory for riders and earned numerous additional protections for our members.
When ridership plummeted in the spring, the TTC announced that it would cut service and lay off 1,000 members. While our union’s hard work behind the scenes helped cut the number of layoffs in half to 450, these cuts were deep and insulting, especially in light of your hard work on the frontlines of a global pandemic. The TTC’s recent decision to recall 150 members is helpful but it won’t be enough. Our city needs full service reinstated immediately and ATU Local 113 will not stop until all our members are back at work.
Our union successfully led the campaign for transit to receive emergency funding from the government and provincial governments, but we’ll continue advocating for a transformed TTC funding model.
Staying true to our values, Local 113 also recognizes the importance of standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. There is no place for intolerance of any kind, racial or otherwise, in our union or in our communities. Our society is facing an overdue reckoning with racial injustice, diversity and inclusion. ATU Local 113 will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with this movement.
The difficulties faced in 2020 remind us that we are stronger together. That we must stay united and fight for our rights as workers. And that there are no days off when you’re committed to serving your community. This Labour Day, let’s celebrate how far we’ve come and acknowledge the hard work that lies ahead.
President, ATU Local 113