Join the fight to protect Toronto’s public transit system.

Doug Ford is steamrolling ahead with his plans to break up and sell off the TTC, starting with Toronto’s subway.

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Tailgate for Public Transit

ATU Local 113 Sisters and Brothers are encouraged to join TTCriders this Thursday for a tailgate party dedicated to protecting our public transit system. Our members know firsthand all that’s at risk with Premier Ford’s failed vision for transit in Toronto, that is why is more important than ever to join together in Etobicoke — Lakeshore. The PC government plan means scrapping projects like the Waterfront LRT while cutting a scheduled gas tax increase – $1.1 billion now gone that was already allocated by Mayor John Tory for the State of Good Repair for the system.

When: Thursday, August 15 at 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Where: 195 Norseman Street, Etobicoke (meet at the parking lot outside of MPP Christine Hogarth’s office)
Cost: Free
Details: Enjoy hot dogs and drinks over transit talks with community members and fellow ATU Local 113 members. RSVP here.

Toronto’s Public Transit Workers Reject TTC Subway Air Quality Study Findings, Demand Immediate Action

Toronto’s public transit unions, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 and Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 2, reject the findings of the 2019 TTC Subway Air Quality Report put forward by TTC Chief Safety Officer John O’Grady on July 10. The unions’ nearly 12,000 operations and maintenance workers demand immediate action to protect the health and safety of their workers and the public by undertaking further research on fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), creating parameters to reduce exposure to all known pollutants and permitting the use of face masks until a permanent solution is in place.

In 2017, the TTC received significant media attention as a result of a Health Canada study conducted on air quality in the Toronto subway system among other major Canadian city transit systems. The air quality report indicated that Toronto Subways had the worst air quality and highest levels of Particulate Matter 2.5- leaving air quality comparable to a typical day in smoggy Beijing, China.

Fine Particulate Matter (PM 2.5)

The TTC is aware of the significance of PM 2.5 stating on their own website that, “small particles are inhaled into the lungs. According to the World Health Organization, health effects of inhaling pollutants can aggravate of asthma and irritate eyes, nose and throat. PM 2.5 can be associated with an increased risk of heart and respiratory diseases, lung cancer and reduced lung function.”

Research has also indicated that exposure to particulate air pollution is associated with cardiovascular and respiratory health effects like heart disease, strokes, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  Efforts should be made to reduce exposure to particulates to the lowest levels that are reasonably achievable.

Despite this research indicating that efforts should be made to reduce exposure to particulates to the lowest level, the TTC denies some of their workers the right to wear a simple face mask while working in the subway area. The TTC says only workers in one specific section need to wear a respirator due to exposure to air pollutants. What about the other hundreds of workers who want to reduce their exposure to subway air pollution?  Why are they not allowed to wear a simple face mask? A face mask is the easiest way to limit exposure.

TTC Media Release

“Pollutant levels in subway system are within occupational exposure limits: TTC study”

What the TTC is not saying is that occupational exposure limits do not address the cumulative effect of these pollutants, and do not address PM 2.5.

There is also no mention of the exposure to the Public, which was the focus of the 2017 Health Canada study comparing TTC air quality to Beijing, China.

Demanding Immediate Action

ATU Local 113 and CUPE Local 2 call on the TTC to work with its public transit workers to make real change to subway air quality, instead of continuing to ignore growing concerns. That includes proactively addressing air quality on the public transit system by undertaking research on fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), creating parameters to reduce exposure to all known pollutants and permitting the use of face masks until a permanent solution is in place.

ATU Local 113 Statement on the Ontario Line Initial Business Case

Today, President of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 Carlos Santos released the following statement regarding the recently released Initial Business Case for the Ontario Line.

“After months of secrecy, Premier Doug Ford finally released more details on his proposed ‘Ontario Line’, and to no surprise to Torontonians, it will result in more delays with expanding our public transit system. The Ford Government is set to rip up shovel-ready plans for the Downtown Relief Line for a new fancy map with no feasible plan to meet its unrealistic deadlines. Torontonians deserve an improved and expanded public transit system, but the proposed ‘Ontario Line’ looks to be the next casualty of the Conservative legacy of transit chaos: changing course mid-way just to bring us back to square one.

ATU Local 113 will never stop advocating for an affordable and equitable public transit system, and to get there, Premier Doug Ford should stop meddling in our city’s transit planning. If the Premier really wants to improve Toronto’s public transit system: get the Relief Line, Waterfront and Eglinton East LRT built; reinstate fare subsidies between the TTC, GO Transit and the UP Express that integrate our system; fix the failed PRESTO system that is costing Torontonians millions in lost fares; and increase operating funding to meet current demand.”

Team Arrow Road Polishes the Diamond, Becomes 2019 Baseball Champions

For over a decade, Sisters and Brothers look forward to the annual baseball championship organized by the Recreation Council. This year, ATU Local 113 congratulates all 21 teams that took to the diamond, with a special nod to the grand winners: Team Arrow Road.

It’s activities like this that bring us together, and it couldn’t have been possible without all the enthusiastic players and volunteers.  Thank you for your participation and hard work – and take a look at some photos from the competition below.

Team Arrow Road celebrates the big win, trophy in hand.
Team Arrow Road takes a group photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                               

 

READ: President Carlos Santos Publishes Op-Ed in the Toronto Sun

Today in the Toronto Sun, ATU Local 113 President Carlos Santos outlines empty transit promises made by Premier Doug Ford, which has already set the City of Toronto back. Read to get his latest thoughts on the province’s TTC Subway takeover.

SANTOS: Ford’s subway takeover leaves riders and workers at the curb

 

Never missing an opportunity, Premier Doug Ford loves to remind us his government is “for the people.”

But as the City of Toronto begins consulting the public on the province’s takeover of TTC subways and the complete redrawing of Toronto’s public transit map, we are left to wonder which people is Doug Ford actually for?

The premier is certainly not for the people who have the most at stake: The nearly 2 million daily TTC riders and the nearly 12,000 workers who operate and maintain Toronto’s buses, Wheel-Trans vehicles, streetcars and subways.

Yet, Ford is asking TTC riders and workers to trust him when he says his government knows best and will deliver “subways, subways, subways” faster, cheaper and better.

Sounds good, but when you look behind the slogans, there is nothing but empty promises that will set transit back years — hurting riders, workers and all of Toronto.

The Ford government claims the province can build new subway lines faster. However, when Ford made his surprise announcement in April of a $28.5-billion transit expansion, he blew up existing plans.

His go-it-alone approach brought an abrupt halt to existing planning for the Relief Line, causing further delays with diverting traffic from the overcrowded Line 1.

His transit plan also leaves in doubt the proposed Eglinton East LRT that would serve tens of thousands of riders in Scarborough and the Waterfront LRT in the booming, transit-starved downtown area.

If more transit delays sound familiar, it is because we have all seen this bad movie before.

The last time a Ford administration (with late mayor Rob Ford in charge) steamrolled into transit planning nearly a decade ago, we saw the fully-funded Transit City expansion plan cancelled in favour of building new subways.

We all know how that movie ended: Promises made, promises broken. Fast forward to 2019 and Torontonians are still paying the price with none of those promised subways.

The Doug Ford government claims the province can deliver expanded transit cheaper and on budget, largely through private-public-partnerships. A recent Ontario auditor general’s report raises serious questions about the true cost of alternative financing and procurement (AFP), a form of P3.

Metrolinx, a provincial agency, contracted out the building of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT to a consortium of private corporations.

In her report released in December 2018, Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk criticized Metrolinx for not transferring project risks to the private consortium in a proper way, costing taxpayers an additional $237 million to keep the transit project on track when construction began to fall behind schedule.

Ford promises to build his Ontario Line using unspecified “alternative delivery methods,” whatever that means. One thing is for sure: if the Ford government contracts out the building and maintenance of new lines to private corporations, taxpayers can expect to pay more.

The third sales pitch we hear from the Ford government is that the province can create a better transit experience.

This is hard to believe when the provincial takeover of TTC subways will break apart our integrated system. The concern is Doug Ford could handover Toronto’s subway system to his developer friends, setting the stage for privatization and increases to subway fares, separate from TTC buses and streetcars.

With the federal government rejecting Ontario’s funding demands because of the significant lack of details about Ford’s half-baked transit proposals, there is still time to stop the madness.

The city must withhold funding until the province is willing to work with all partners to build transit that works for the people who matter most: Riders and workers.

ATU Local 113 Calls on Toronto to Fight Back Against Premier Doug Ford’s Backroom Transit Scheme

Premier Ford’s Real Agenda is to Seize Full Control of Toronto Transit

Toronto’s public transit union, ATU Local 113, is calling on all Torontonians to fight back against Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s backroom scheme to break apart the TTC through his so-called subway upload legislation.

Torontonians still have time to tell Premier Doug Ford and his fellow Toronto Progressive Conservative MPPs that we will not stand by while the province halts the City of Toronto’s transit expansion plans and threatens to steal our city’s subway assets without compensation or consent.

The provincial government’s legislation undermines ongoing talks between the City of Toronto and the province on the subway upload, a scheme more focused on consolidating power in the Premier’s Office than providing relief for riders.

“The province’s TTC Subway upload legislation is all about ensuring that Doug Ford gets to control transit growth and planning in Toronto,” said Carlos Santos, ATU Local 113 President. “Doug Ford wants to stop the City of Toronto from expanding transit in any way we want to. These are the actions of a control freak – not a Premier working with Toronto and the people who live and work here.”

This new legislation comes as critics question how Premier Ford plans to maintain his proposed transit expansion while existing lines are in dire need of repair.

“Doug Ford promised the City of Toronto more money from the gas tax – and then poof, 1.1 billion dollars of money is gone when he cancelled the scheduled increase,” said Carlos Santos. “That’s money Mayor John Tory already allocated to the State of Good Repair of the system. Premier Ford is kicking us when we are down. We need stable funding now – not more provincial meddling that will set transit back years.”

Fighting for Toronto’s Public Transit System

A powerful coalition of transit advocates have formed to stop Premier Doug Ford’s subway upload scheme, including riders, politicians, civic and environmental groups.

ATU Local 113 encourages all Torontonians who want to protect our public transit system to join the fight to stop the subway upload and keep transit public.

Join Transit Town Hall: Stop TTC Delays

Premier Ford is set to delay badly needed public transit infrastructure, that’s why Torontonians are urged to join the Transit Town Hall, tomorrow, May 1, to stop TTC delays.

It’s more important than ever before that public transit workers and riders oppose Ford’s disastrous subway upload scheme, and to press the PC government for more information on their newly proposed transit plans. Toronto is ready to build, and with new direction from Queen’s Park, and less funding through the cancellation of the gas tax increase, the TTC needs our support.

When: Wednesday, May 1 at 6 PM

Where: Metro Hall, Rotunda (Main Floor Library)

55 John Street

Toronto, Ontario

Details: Councillors Joe Cressy, Kristyn Wong-Tam and Mike Layton will lead the discussion. RSVP on Facebook.

Concerned Torontonians are encouraged to join the fight to stop the upload and protect our public transit system – before it’s too late.

ATU Local 113 Statement on Ontario Government Transit Expansion Projects

A message from President Carlos Santos on the Ontario Government’s transit expansion projects:

Toronto and our region are in desperate need of more public transit, and while ATU Local 113 has long argued for greater provincial investment in transit, today’s announcement leaves the city with more questions than answers. Toronto has seen the consequences of the Conservative legacy of transit chaos: changing course mid-way just to bring us back to square one.

Transit workers also remain concerned about Premier Doug Ford’s plan to introduce legislation this spring to begin his so-called TTC Subway upload, starting with all new subway infrastructure. And with Premier Ford signaling his intentions to take over the rest of the TTC Subway system sometime in 2020, important questions remain unanswered about how this scheme will affect Toronto riders and TTC workers.

As we see it now, the TTC Subway upload will break apart our integrated subway system and pave the way towards more privatization, leading to higher fares and reduced service. We call on the provincial government to confirm that TTC workers will continue to both operate – and maintain – Toronto’s subway system.

Toronto’s public transit workers will continue to seek clarity from the provincial government while making the case that we must say no to privatization and keep transit publicly owned and accountable to the City of Toronto.

International Women’s Day Toronto: Rally and March

On Saturday, March 9th, members of ATU Local 113 took part in the
International Women’s Day Toronto Rally and March.

Thousands of women and allies marched from the University of Toronto to Ryerson University for the annual event.

On behalf of our Women’s Committee, Sister Tracey Brown shared the message below:

“I would like to acknowledge and thank all of the Sisters and Brothers who took time over the weekend to come out and support the event. Having both current and retired members (John Brown and Eleanor McKnight) coming together with other unions to march in union solidarity was wonderful to see. A special thanks to Vice President Rick Fox, Assistant Business Agent Frank Malta, Executive Board Members Marvin Alfred, Claudio Cappadocia, Aleem Tharani, Pino D’Armiento, Jason DaSilva, and Tony Meglio for getting involved!

Pictured together during the March are Mike D’Agostino, Angela Olmstead, and Tracey Brown

I would also like to thank Shop Steward Rico Signore, my fellow By-Law Committee Member Mike D’Agostino, Health and Safety Liaison Andrew Falotico and ATU Canada President John DiNino. Your support does not go unnoticed.

ATU Local 113 Sisters and allies pictured together in front of Ryerson University

The turnout grows every year and I’m hoping that next year’s IWD event will have an even greater attendance and impact.

In Solidarity,

Tracey Brown, Women’s Committee”

ATU Local 113 Encourages the Public to Join the Fight and Tell Doug Ford that it’s #OURSubway

We made history on Day of Action (February 22, 2019) with our decision to stand united by wearing our “Don’t Steal Our Subway!” t-shirts while on the job.

As the people who have owned, maintained and operated the TTC for over 100 years, we believe that Toronto riders deserve a public transit system that is safe, efficient and reliable.

With this in mind, we must ensure every Torontonian knows about the Ford government’s plan to steal our subway will reduce service within a broken system while the province sets the stage for privatization, much like we have seen with Metrolinx’s GO transit system and the Eglinton Crosstown.

Watch, share and comment on the video launched today that shows what we accomplished together on Day of Action. Then, if you have not already, sign the pledge yourself and urge those around you to do the same.

Day of Action 2019

We made history on Day of Action (February 22, 2019) with our decision to stand united by wearing our “Don’t Steal Our Subway!” t-shirts while on the job.As the people who have owned, maintained and operated the TTC for over 100 years, we believe that Toronto riders deserve a public transit system that is safe, efficient and reliable. With this in mind, we must ensure every Torontonian knows about the Ford government’s plan to steal our subway will reduce service within a broken system while the province sets the stage for privatization.

Posted by ATU Local 113 on Thursday, March 7, 2019

Together, we must slam the brakes on Ford’s disastrous scheme to steal our subway.