Member Update: TTC Bus Operator at Mount Dennis Garage Tests Positive for COVID-19

Sisters and Brothers,

We received unfortunate news today from one of our ATU Local 113 members, a TTC bus operator from the Mount Dennis garage. Our member, who spoke today with his shop steward and board member, is in the hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). Our thoughts are with the member and we wish him a full and speedy recovery.

The member hasn’t been on the job since Saturday, March 14.

The case is still under investigation. We’ll continue our work to ensure the TTC and Toronto Public Health respond appropriately to protect members at Mount Dennis and across the system. We’ll keep you updated.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact your shop steward or board member.

As we continue to serve Toronto during this challenging time, please stay home if you feel unwell. Medical notes are not required up to and including Saturday, April 4 (with further extensions pending).

Again, our thoughts are with our member and we’re all hoping to see him healthy again soon.

In solidarity,

Carlos Santos
President, ATU Local 113

Wheel-Trans Operator Tests Positive for COVID-19 due to International Travel

ATU Local 113 has learned on March 27 that a Wheel-Trans operator has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) due to international travel. ATU Local 113 Sisters and Brothers wish the member a full and speedy recovery.

Here is what we know as of now:

  • The Wheel-Trans operator, who works at the Lakeshore Wheel-Trans division, has not worked a shift since March 12 and has been in self isolation since then.
  • The operator received the positive test for COVID-19 on March 21.

Toronto Public Health has assured ATU Local 113 that since the member has not been at work for over two weeks, the risk to other members remains low; however, ATU Local 113 wanted to notify them of as soon as possible. Our union continues to work with the TTC and Toronto Public Health on this case.

As we provide a critical service for our city during this pandemic, including for health care workers, ATU Local 113 continues to push the TTC and Toronto Public Health to do whatever is necessary to ensure a safe and healthy environment for TTC workers and riders. ATU Local 113 is encouraging members to practice social distancing as much as possible before, during and after their shifts.

If you feel unwell, please stay home. And if you have any questions or safety concerns, please speak with your shop steward or ATU Local 113 board member.

TTC Subway Operator at Wilson Division Tests Positive for COVID-19

ATU Local 113 has learned on March 24 that a TTC Subway operator has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

ATU Local 113 President Carlos Santos has spoken with the member today and they are doing well. All ATU Local 113 Sisters and Brothers wish the member a speedy recovery.

While the case is still under investigation, ATU Local 113 wanted to update members as soon as possible. Our union continues to work with the TTC and Toronto Public Health on this case – we’ll provide you with more details on actions being taken, once available.

Here is what we know as of now:

  • The TTC Subway operator, who works at the Wilson division, received the positive test for COVID-19 today – Tuesday, March 24.
  • The TTC Subway operator has NOT been at work since the morning of Monday, March 16.
  • On Monday, March 16, the member left work shortly after their shift began at 5:30 p.m. because they felt unwell. Again, the member has been home since that time.
  • ATU Local 113 is working with the TTC and Toronto Public Health to determine next steps/actions to further protect the health of workers and riders. More details to come.

We understand this is a very challenging time for all – and many of you are worried about health protection. ATU Local 113 has demanded and secured new health protections for members, including the choice to wear face masks; rear-door boarding on TTC buses; no cash, ticket or token payments on TTC buses for added social distancing; the flexibility for fare collectors and customer service agents to remain in booths during their shifts; additional cleaning and disinfection processes in work areas; full pay for 14-day self-isolation and quarantines; and no medical notes required for sick leave up to and including March 31.

As we provide a critical service for our city during this pandemic, including for health care workers, ATU Local 113 continues to push the TTC and Toronto Public Health to do whatever is necessary to ensure a safe and healthy environment for TTC workers and riders.

If you feel unwell, please stay home. And if you have any questions or safety concerns, please speak with your shop steward or ATU Local 113 board member.

READ: Workers & Riders Fight for a Safe TTC

In a recent interview with Rankandfile.ca, President Carlos Santos had the opportunity to highlight the important role our maintenance workers have in moving Toronto.

“They’re the ones that clean our vehicles, they’re the ones that repair our buses and our streetcars. There’s a lot of behind the scenes staff that nobody sees and I want to give a big shout out to them because they play a very important role. Without them, we [transit operators] can’t do what we do, so they make us look good.”

You can read the full Rank and File article here.

ATU Local 113 update on TTC worker being diagnosed with COVID-19

Sisters and Brothers,

With today’s confirmation that one of our members, a maintenance worker, at the Duncan garage was diagnosed with COVID-19, our commitment to health and safety has never been stronger.

Our thoughts are with the member who was diagnosed with COVID-19 and their family. We wish them a speedy recovery while self-isolating. We’ll provide whatever support they and all members need, while in self-isolation or who have been otherwise impacted by COVID-19.

I want to assure you that our members’ health and safety is ATU Local 113’s top priority as our communities continue to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Many of you are rightfully concerned about this diagnosis, but I want to remind you of the additional health protections for workers ATU Local 113 has secured in recent days. These measures include full pay for members in self-isolation and quarantine, the choice to wear protective face masks on the job, no medical notes required for sick leave until March 31, as well as fare collectors and customer service agents having the flexibility to work in TTC Subway station booths if they have health and safety concerns. The TTC has also implemented all-door boarding to avoid crowding at front vehicle entrances.

For maintenance workers, we continue to work with the TTC to ensure increased cleaning and disinfection measures are available and followed to protect workers’ health.

Our member who was diagnosed with COVID-19 returned from travel abroad on March 11, two days before the Government of Canada recommended that all travellers arriving from international destinations self-isolate for 14 days. Canada has now implemented these additional safety measures as further precautions.

ATU Local 113 is following the advice of public health experts – if you feel unwell, please stay home.

Our members are among Toronto’s finest and ATU Local 113 will continue to ensure the TTC provides a safe, clean and healthy work environment for all.

In solidarity,

Carlos Santos
President, ATU Local 113

ATU Local 113 Secures Additional Health Protections for Members

ATU Local 113 secured additional health protections for its members today, including the choice to wear protective masks on the job. The TTC also announced all-door boarding to avoid overcrowding at TTC vehicle entrances. These policy changes come after ATU Local 113’s strong and persistent demands for the TTC to do everything it can to provide a safe and healthy work environment.

Here are the safety measures and policy changes we can confirm today:

  • The choice to wear protective face masks giving workers the right to protect themselves. The TTC’s policy change comes after a weeks-long campaign by ATU Local 113 to demand the right for members to protect their health by wearing a mask.
  • All-door boarding on TTC vehicles to help avoid overcrowding at entrances and provide safe distancing for TTC workers and riders.
  • Fare collectors and CSA’s can remain in booths for as long as they wish for any health and safety concerns.
  • 100 per cent pay if members must go into 14-day quarantine or self-isolation (assessed on a case-by-case basis).
  • No medical notes required for sick days up to and including March 31, 2020 to lessen the burden on Ontario’s health care system.
  • Reassurance that all members will receive the standard 75 per cent sick pay if unwell, and increased workplace cleaning and disinfection processes where needed.
  • Increased maximum weekly hours up to 64 hours to ensure maintenance workers can provide additional cleaning and disinfection to TTC vehicles.

As most people stay indoors, Toronto’s 12,000 hardworking, dedicated and resilient public transit workers are operating and maintaining the TTC system so people, including health care workers, are getting to places across the city during this coronavirus pandemic.

Your health and safety is our top priority. We’ve just launched a webpage for members to continue receiving important updates on the coronavirus outbreak at https://wemovetoronto.ca/coronavirus/.

Please visit wemovetoronto.ca/coronavirus regularly for updates and to learn how ATU Local 113 is helping to keep members safe.

READ: TTC workers want to start wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus

In a recent article, blogTO has joined other news outlets in covering ATU Local 113’s fight for the right of TTC workers to protect their health. You can read that article here: TTC workers want to start wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus

In the article, President Carlos Santos has reiterated his call for the TTC to increase health precautions for workers in the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including allowing workers to protect themselves by wearing masks on the job.

President Santos’ call for TTC workers’ protection comes at a critical time as the Toronto Star is reporting that our neighbouring New York State has asked commuters to avoid packed buses and subways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

When it comes to protecting members on the job, the TTC should worry less about public perception and focus on public protection. If members feel that it is in their health interest to wear a mask on the job, ATU Local 113 will fully support them.

Happy International Women’s Day!

ATU Local 113 is wishing all members and their families a Happy International Women’s Day!

Today and every day, we salute our Sisters and all those who strive to make gender equality a reality. While recognizing the achievements women and girls have made, ATU Local 113 remains committed to the work that still needs be done to ensure they have equal opportunities to succeed.

To commemorate this day, the Women’s Committee and other members represented ATU Local 113 at the International Women’s Day March at the University of Toronto.

#EqualforEach #IWD2020 #InternationalWomensDay

READ: Toronto’s transit unions demand better health precautions as coronavirus spreads

ATU Local 113 President Carlos Santos is calling on the TTC to allow workers to protect themselves by wearing masks on the job. The TTC should focus less on public perception and more on public health. Transit workers have the right to protect their health in the same way countless TTC riders do by wearing masks on subways, streetcars and buses. ATU Local 113 will back members 110% if they need to protect themselves by wearing a mask at work.

Read more at the Globe and Mail here.