TORONTO, ONTARIO – Carlos Santos, President of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113, which represents close to 12,000 TTC workers, released the following statement regarding Toronto Mayor John Tory’s remarks on CP24 today that ATU Local 113 has been allegedly uncooperative with the City of Toronto during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“When TTC management came to ATU Local 113 and sought flexibility to keep Toronto moving, ATU Local 113 has cooperated with management to make that happen. We have given the TTC flexibility on a range of issues. But cooperation is not a one-way street. I fear that Mayor Tory hasn’t been given the whole story from TTC management. It’s just wrong to say we haven’t cooperated with TTC.
Mayor Tory shouldn’t lecture Toronto’s public transit workers when it comes to cooperation during tough times. Our members have been heroes on the frontlines of this pandemic. When these heroes needed Mayor Tory and TTC management to step up for them, the City and TTC management has sadly let them down.
- Mayor Tory has backed TTC management’s layoff of more than 1,000 TTC frontline workers – even though a fully functioning TTC is crucial to reopening Toronto and its economy.
- When TTC management said no to workers wearing face masks on the job, public transit workers had to fight to secure this basic protection. Mayor Tory stood idly by.
- When Mayor Tory and TTC management ignored overcrowding on many bus routes during the pandemic, public transit workers had to fight to get more vehicles on the road with proper physical distancing measures for operators.
- When Mayor Tory and TTC management were slow to protect workers at the Queensway garage from an apparent coronavirus outbreak, public transit workers had to fight for much-needed health protections.
If we had TTC management that was better at protecting the health and safety of its riders and workers, we could be more cooperative. We want to cooperate – but TTC inefficiency means we also have to fight to protect our working conditions and health and safety.
We asked for TTC CEO Rick Leary to meet with us to work for the betterment of the TTC for riders and workers. He hasn’t done that. We are ready at all times to work with Mayor Tory or Rick Leary to make the TTC work better for us all.”