Video Message from President Carlos Santos: Why We Fight

Sisters and Brothers,

As TTC CEO Rick Leary continues to attack our members and tries to eliminate union jobs that play a critical role in transit safety, ATU Local 113 will never stop fighting for you. In this video, we reflect on the history of our union, and how far we have come in enhancing and protecting the worker rights we have today. This video demonstrates ATU Local 113’s commitment to not only protect our members, but to also always put our members first.

In Solidarity,

Carlos Santos

President, ATU Local 113

ATU Local 113 President Stands by Original Vaccination Demands: Safety, Consistency and Charter Rights

Sisters and Brothers,

Between ATU Local 113 and TTC CEO Rick Leary, only the union has been consistent in its approach to vaccinations. We have always recommended an approach that protects public health and workers’ rights. Mr. Leary, on the other hand, has arbitrarily and unilaterally changed direction.

On August 18, 2021, Mr. Leary advised us that the TTC’s vaccination policy would provide rapid antigen testing as an alternative to vaccination. Days later, with no warning, he changed course to implement an extremely strict vaccination policy which is unreasonable and ineffective. This policy will result in continued conflict, and we believe we would succeed in a legal challenge, when our focus should be on working together to find solutions.

In mid-September, we provided a comprehensive written proposal for a vaccination policy which provides antigen testing as an alternative to vaccination, similar to what Brampton, Mississauga, Hamilton have developed.

Just this week, we again asked for a meeting, but Mr. Leary took us to the Ontario Labour Relations Board before conversations could begin. At the meeting, TTC took a step backwards by saying unvaccinated members would be sent home.

Everything we have done since Mr. Leary broke his agreement aimed to bring him back to the table to negotiate in good faith. We asked our members to disclose status to demonstrate our desire to work together on a reasonable solution. That does not mean we support the policy.

As is clear from our press release, we believe mandating vaccination as a term of employment violates the Collective Agreement, Charter and privacy law. We are committed to fighting this issue at grievance arbitration if TTC does not reconsider the Policy.

From the beginning, we have proposed reasonable policies and pressured the TTC to move more quickly to protect public safety. We continue to ask TTC management to make sure there is enough space on vehicles for physical distancing and to require passengers to wear masks.

We stand by those demands today, as we have from the beginning.

TTC management has rejected all of our proposals and has never made one of their own. Picking unnecessary fights with workers only distracts from TTC’s failure to put in place measures to keep transit riders and workers safe.

TTC workers have already been under enormous amount of stress throughout the pandemic. This unnecessary and unlawful policy has only made things worse. Our members want to focus on serving transit riders. Instead, they are having sleepless nights worrying about losing their ability to provide for their families over a healthcare choice. 

In solidarity,

Carlos Santos
President, ATU Local 113

TTC Management Fails to Consult and Communicate with Union and Workers about Mandatory Disclosure of Personal Health Details

Sisters and Brothers,

Without proper consultation or even telling us about their plan before they went public, TTC CEO Rick Leary informed TTC workers that they now require you to share your vaccination status within a week’s time. This is personal information, which we believe you have the right to keep confidential if you so choose.

Despite what Rick Leary says about “continuing to work with union partners,” TTC management has NOT worked at all with ATU Local 113 and has failed to provide any information about mandatory vaccinations, including any policies regarding basic exemptions. Rick Leary and TTC management’s lack of consultation and proper communications about this so-called policy is an insult to our union and the nearly 12,000 members. Workers deserve a management team that truly consults on important health issues.

ATU Local 113 believes it is unfair for the TTC to keep their plan for mandatory vaccinations a secret while demanding workers disclose their private health information.

Since the TTC is familiar with infringing upon workers’ rights, our union is well-versed in fighting for our membership. ATU Local 113 will continue to fight for your rights, which includes safeguarding your personal health choices.

– Carlos Santos, ATU Local 113 President

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Good afternoon—

Two weeks ago, I announced that COVID-19 vaccinations will be mandatory for all TTC employees, consultants, contractors and students. I want you to know that this wasn’t a decision that was made lightly – but it was the right thing to do. We’re dealing with a more transmissible variant of COVID-19, which means more than ever, we need to do everything we can to stop the spread of this virus and protect ourselves, our co-workers, and our families.

I know many of you have questions about the policy. We continue to work with our union partners and we will be share the policy with you in the coming days.

As part of this policy, we will be asking you to upload your vaccination proof during the week of September 7. If you haven’t already done so, please seek out your vaccination proof now and be ready to share it next week. You may have saved the receipt that was given to you when you received your vaccine dose. You can also find your receipt by logging into the provincial portal at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccine-booking-support or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900.

We’re working hard to make this process as easy as possible. Supports for this policy, including FAQs and instructions on how to upload your proof of vaccination, will be shared with you as well as your supervisor and manager in the coming days. We will also make sure there are opportunities for you to ask any questions you may have about the policy and how it applies to you.

We have been a leader in safety throughout the pandemic, and we will continue to lead. I have said it from the beginning—your safety is paramount in all we do. The safety of all our employees and customers has always been, and continues to be, what guides our decision making at the TTC.

If you haven’t already received your vaccination, we are working with health partners to host pop-up vaccine clinics, including clinics at Victoria Park Station today and tomorrow, as well as at Warden Station from September 7 to 9. You can find more details on MyTTC | SAP Jam or at ttc.ca.

This pandemic road has been a bumpy one, but I know that together, we will get through this. I look forward to sharing more details with you soon.

Please take care and stay vigilant.

Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer
September 1, 2021