ATU Local 113 Coronavirus Cases

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ATU Local 113 research shows that two thirds of Torontonians disapprove of TTC management’s plan to eliminate Subway Guard

In a new poll conducted for ATU Local 113, two thirds of Torontonians (64%) disapprove of TTC management’s plan to eliminate the second subway crew person, the Subway Guard. Just one fifth support this plan (19%), known as OPTO (One Person Train Operation). These findings are decisive. It is clear the public doesn’t agree with TTC management’s plan to eliminate the Subway Guard.

“It is rare to see this level of consistency of opinion on a public transit issue” said John Corbett, Vice President at Mainstreet Research, the firm that conducted the polling.

The full report can be viewed and downloaded below.

Mainstreet Research: Torontonians’ attitudes on eliminating subway guards and public

READ: Automation will mean the end of an unusual, but effective, safety practice on the TTC’s Yonge line

To coincide with the TTC’s announcement that it extended subway operations on its new Automatic Train Control (ATC), the Globe and Mail has published an article titled “Automation will mean the end of an unusual, but effective, safety practice on the TTC’s Yonge line.”

The role of subway guards, beyond the point-and-acknowledge protocol, is important for passenger safety. They do much more than operating the doors, and have saved people from injuries, stopped suicides and assisted in emergencies and evacuations.

ATU Local 113 is looking forward to showing Toronto how important subway guards are to the safety of transit riders in the coming months.

Click here to read the Globe’s full article.

ATU Local 113 responds to spoof posters featuring members

The Toronto Sun recently reported that spoof TTC fare evasion posters featuring ATU Local 113 members were being circulated online.

Any mean-spirited campaign that targets and insults Toronto’s public transit workers is inappropriate and unacceptable. ATU Local 113 members are not to blame for the TTC’s problems.

Instead, Torontonians should focus their attention on the failed PRESTO system that costs the TTC hundreds of millions a year, as well as the lack of government funding the TTC so badly needs to operate.

Click here to read the full Toronto Sun story.

Black History Month: ATU Local 113 Celebrates its Diversity

ATU Local 113 is extremely proud of its history of diversity and inclusion. These values are the foundation of solidarity, the idea that we are stronger when we work together.

In the spirit of solidarity and in celebration of Black History Month, ATU Local 113 organized a Black History Month lunch on February 19 at Mount Dennis Bus Garage. All members, regardless of racial, ethnic or cultural background gathered to recognize the contributions of the Black community to ATU Local 113 and the legacies of Black Canadians. Black history is an integral part of Canada that everyone should celebrate.

What diversity looks like at ATU Local 113

The annual lunch was organized by Brothers Mark Reed, Paul Wong and others who are passionate about the history of the Black community and their fight for equal rights.

The event also showcased the growing diversity in the workplace. ATU Local 113 is as diverse as Toronto itself. Torontonians see themselves represented in the workers that keep this city moving. That’s why ATU Local 113’s recognition and celebration of diversity will not stop after February, and rather continue all year round.

A huge thank you to Mark Reed, Paul Wong and all those that volunteered their time to make the event such a success.

TOMORROW: Big Push for Solidarity as Four Education Unions Strike Together

ATU Local 113 is encouraging members to join the fight for public education on February 21. All four major teacher unions will strike at the same time across Ontario. That means around 200,000 education workers will be on the picket lines, impacting over 2 million students from K-12.

Join parents, students, community members and 30,000 Toronto education workers for the largest-ever picket line on the Queen’s Park lawns.

WHERE: Queen’s Park
WHEN: February 21, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Teachers stood with ATU Local 113 to protect Toronto’s public transit system from the Ford Government’s reckless TTC Subway upload that would’ve put it on the slippery slope to privatization. Now we need to show our solidarity with teachers to protect students and defend quality, well-funded public education.

ATU Local 113 in the Community: Christopher Jones

A highlight of summer in Toronto is the diverse community events across the city. Accessible by streetcars, subways, wheel-trans and buses, they offer families the opportunity to reconnect with those closest to them – all while having fun! Christopher Jones, an Operator at Malvern Division, is dedicated to finding opportunities to help others and community events became one of his ways to offer a lending hand. With the support of ATU Local 113 and its Sisters and Brothers, Christopher has brought bouncy castles, floats and other fun and important additions to events across the city – for the benefit of all.

“I believe that a community is made up of people getting involved. You do not have to be a part of the community to help. I give back on behalf of ATU 113 to the community we serve,” Chris explains.

Christopher Jones in-front of ATU Local 113’s bouncy castle at Vaughan Fiesta Extravaganza

And a busy summer getting involved he’s had. Already, he has supported the Pinoy Fiesta & Trade Show and Vaughan Fiesta Extravaganza. Next is the Toronto Caribbean Carnival where he’ll lead a float of Sisters and Brothers.

Supporting community events is just part of what Christopher does in his spare time. He’s served on ATU Local 113’s Rec Committee and United Way team, while currently involved with the Willowdale Rotary Association and Knights of Rizal.

Thank you to Christopher for all your hard work!

#TTCpride: ATU Local 113 Marches in Rainbows to Celebrate Achievements, Continue Fight for Equality

Building on longstanding traditions, ATU Local 113 Sisters and Brothers marched proudly in Toronto’s 38th annual Pride Parade. While June is designated Pride month, the Local will always stands in solidarity in the fight for equal rights. The Parade offers the opportunity to celebrate LGBTQ+ community achievements while recommitting to their full inclusion in society – under the law and in our culture.

Group photo at Rosedale Valley Road in front of the fabulous TTC Pride bus.

Despite a heavy downpour, ATU Local 113 Sisters and Brothers marched alongside the TTC Pride bus: dancing, waving flags and laughing. The parade route on Yonge Street from Church and Bloor to Yonge and Dundas Square was a sea of colour representing a message of unity and peace.

Grace Udoh dances excitedly through the streets of Toronto while wearing her custom ATU Local 113 rainbow t-shirt.

Matthew Ennamorato and Richard Freitas wave the ATU Local 113 flag high in the sky on Bloor Street.

ATU Local 113 marches in rainbows to celebrate achievements continue fight for equality image 4

Matthew Ennamorato, Emily Daigle, Richard Freitas, Kathleen Zamora, Grace Udoh, Trey Zamora and Deborah Littman amongst other ATU Local 113 Sisters and Brothers.

Thank you to all ATU Local 113 Sisters and Brothers who participated in the Parade. To get your hands on the rainbow ATU Local 113 t-shirt or to be notified about details for the march next year, please contact



Watch: Friends Reconnect, Reminisce and Share why ATU Local 113 is More Important than Ever at the 2018 Pensioners’ Party

In May, hundreds of Sisters and Brothers gathered for the annual ATU Local 113 Pensioners’ Party. This highly anticipated gathering provided ATU Local 113 pensioners the opportunity to reconnect with their old friends and reminisce on all the accomplishments they achieved when they stood together as part of ATU Local 113.

Amidst great food, music and conversation, ATU Local 113 Pensioners and current Executive Board members shared tips and insights for current union members. Hear it directly from attendees of the 2018 Pensioners’ Party – and make sure to join us next year:

Celebrate Toronto Pride by Marching with ATU Local 113


Toronto’s Pride Parade is an opportunity to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community – and to stand in solidarity with the values of acceptance and equality. Following a longstanding tradition, ATU Local 113 will join hundreds of thousands of Torontonians to march in the fabulous 38th annual Pride Parade.


DATE: Sunday, June 24th at 2:00 PM


  • ATU Local 113 Sisters and Brothers will be marching with the TTC Pride bus
  • The first 100 people will receive an ATU Local 113 rainbow t-shirt (photo below)
  • The meeting place is at the Parade marshalling grounds on Rosedale Valley Road, at 1:30 PM just before the official start of the Parade.

In the words of one of our ATU Local 113 Sisters, Kathleen Zitnak, “It is also particularly important for members of ours who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community—identified or not—to see that we support and accept them.”

She added, “While the TTC and ATU Local 113 have non-discriminatory hiring policies in place, openness and public acceptance of this community remains limited.”

A by-law change was recently submitted to look at the rights of LGBTQ+ Sisters and Brothers in the workplace.

LGBTQ+ members and allies are part of this city, and it is a part of us. Equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community still have a long way to go, and this is a small way we can show our support for the community and their fight.

As we continue our fight for rights, this is a chance to get out and help another community with theirs. We look forward to seeing you at the parade!

NOW Magazine: Pot Testing Problem at the TTC


This must-read article in NOW Magazine raises serious questions about the validity of the TTC’s drug tests for impairment. ATU Local 113 is making it clear: subjecting thousands of innocent workers to random, unscientific drug tests is not right – and must be stopped. ATU Local 113 continues to fight against this unjust policy.

By Ian Carey

June 8, 2018

Gabriel Carreiro lost his job as a Service Person for the Toronto Transit Commission after an oral fluid test taken before his shift determined that he was impaired.

How can the TTC be so sure Carreiro was impaired based on a test that both the federal government and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have deemed as inefficient in determining impairment?

There is no accurate way to test if a person is impaired by cannabis. The Government of Canada concluded this as part of the Department of Justice’s report on blood-drug regulations last year. The study found that our knowledge of how the body processes THC is too limited to be able to draw any accurate conclusions when it comes to impairment.

“It should be noted that THC is a more complex molecule than alcohol and the science is unable to provide general guidance to drivers about how much cannabis can be consumed before it is unsafe to drive or before the proposed levels would be exceeded,” the analysis reads.

Another study conducted by Dalhousie University’s Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, commissioned by MADD, concluded in 2015 that oral fluid tests were less effective at determining impairment than the current Drug Recognition Evaluation (or DRE) test administered by trained police officers, which involve watching subjects touch their nose, walk in a straight line, etc. In a nutshell, oral fluid tests have been deemed less reliable than human observation in determining impairment. Previous studies on how long THC takes to leave the body have also been based on incomplete information and yielded inconclusive results.

The guide distributed to TTC employees on its drug-testing policy suggests otherwise.

In it, the TTC states that it “is not interested in your recreational use of drugs” and that the cutoff levels used for the test “only determine recent usage and therefore likely impairment.”

But TTC employees are still losing their job under the policy.

Unlike devices Toronto police were testing earlier this year, the oral swab tests used by the TTC must be sent to a lab for results, which can take up to three days. Carreiro was allowed to work on the day his test was administered.

While the TTC does not comment on personnel matters, spokesperson Brad Ross says the TTC is confident in the accuracy of the test.

How can the TTC be so sure? A long history of misinformation on the subject has led to incomplete science being viewed as legitimate. Among those concerned about the tests is criminal defence lawyer Ryan Handlarski.

“What the machine actually tests is consumption and not impairment. Marijuana stays in your system a long time. So the question is, when was the consumption first of all? The other important question is if there is consumption, does that mean you are impaired?”

Carreiro is not the only TTC worker to lose his job to a controversial toxicology report.

Last year, TTC subway operator and medicinal marijuana user Ellaine Farrell wanted to make the switch from oxycodone to cannabis oil to manage pain issues.

The TTC advised her this would not be possible because of her position. A medical review was ordered in her case. When a urine test showed Farrell’s THC levels to be approximately three times the cutoff, Dr. Ilan Nachim determined Farrell would not be able “to function and work safely and unimpaired in the safety-sensitive position of subway operator due to the risk of acute and non-acute impairment.”

Unfortunately for Farrell, Nachim’s medical opinion failed to acknowledge recent medical research for medicinal users such as Farrell, which has changed everything we thought we knew. This new evidence contradicts the idea that THC leaves the body in a time-determined manner.

Medicinal or regular users of cannabis may show evidence of “likely impairment” via the same oral swab tests even after abstaining from it completely for days or even weeks.

study out of Norway in 2014 was the first to bring forward these concerns. Unlike previous studies, the Norway research focused on individuals deemed to be regular users.

THC levels were then measured as the subjects abstained from cannabis for eight days. The study found that not only were regular users still testing positive for THC in levels employee drug-testing programs would deem as “likely impaired,” there was no time-related pattern observed at all.

A person could test for high levels of THC on Tuesday, then no detectable levels on Wednesday, and then back to impaired levels on Thursday – even though no cannabis was consumed during this time period.

The study found that “frequent use of high dosages of cannabis may lead to prolonged detection times, and that positive samples can be interspersed among negative samples.”

It’s not just oral swab tests that are questionable in determining impairment. A study from 2015 also concluded the same patterns can be observed from blood and urine tests when it comes to regular users.

“These results suggest that the toxicokinetics of THC are not as simple as was previously thought,” the study says. “This makes interpretation of toxicology results much more difficult than it has been when it was assumed that THC followed a well-defined pattern of elimination kinetics and further suggests that a reliable algorithm for mathematical modelling of THC metabolism in real-world heavy users remains elusive.”

This is not to say that medicinal or habitual cannabis users should be given carte blanche to drive or work while impaired. But we don’t get anywhere when we pretend to have knowledge that research suggests is actually impossible to obtain. | @nowtoronto