TORONTO, ONTARIO – November 21, 2021 – Carlos Santos, President of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113, which represents close to 12,000 TTC workers, released the following statement in response to the TTC’s cuts to service and placing workers on unpaid leave.
“The TTC’s punitive mandatory vaccination policy is an avoidable mistake and insult to Toronto’s transit workers who have proudly served our city throughout the pandemic. Instead of looking to fire over 1200 workers and cutting service, the TTC should offer regular rapid testing to the small percentage of workers who do not wish to receive the vaccine. This has proven to work with Brampton and Mississauga’s transit systems, why not Toronto’s as well? It is common sense.
Rather than working with the union, the TTC opted to bulldoze their mandatory vaccination policy through and cause a staff shortage, which they now use to justify their cuts to service. By forcing workers out of their jobs and earnings, and cutting service to 57 Toronto routes, the TTC has hurt riders and workers alike during Toronto’s economic recovery and in the lead up to the holiday season.
The TTC’s policy is inconsistent as it does not require TTC passengers to be vaccinated, meaning that the vast majority of people entering TTC workspaces, vehicles or stations are not required to be vaccinated. The TTC prefers to cut service and overcrowd the TTC vehicles left with passengers whose vaccination status is unknown. They have chosen to forgo proven safety measures like social distancing in order to punish workers and the people of Toronto.
After working on the front lines throughout the pandemic, workers shouldn’t be fired and blamed for TTC service cuts. Toronto’s transit heroes and riders deserve better.”