TORONTO, ONTARIO – In response to the stabbing of a TTC collector in Scarborough last week, the President of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 is calling on the Mayor of Toronto to declare December 17 as annual Transit Worker Assault Awareness Day in the City of Toronto.
“We are calling on Mayor John Tory to declare today as Transit Worker Assault Awareness Day,” said President Carlos Santos. “All together, there have been 286 reported assaults on TTC workers this year. An assault on a transit worker is basically occurring once a day. The problem of systemic violence on our transit system is a longstanding issue. We need a serious assault prevention strategy to deal with the problem. There were 77 assaults in the first quarter of 2020, 35 in the second, and 93 assaults in third—which is a 12% increase from the third quarter of 2019. There were 15 assaults on TTC collectors. The problem is in fact growing.”
Santos sent a proclamation request to the City of Toronto to have December 17, 2021 officially recognized.
“We are urging the Mayor to issue a proclamation recognizing today as Transit Worker Assault Awareness Day in Toronto,” President Santos continued. “There are lots of solutions that can be implemented to make things safer. More data collection and public reporting. More risk assessments and concrete plans to mitigate violence. More resources going into schools, affordable housing, and job creation to empower youth and ends crimes of poverty. More paid training on de-escalation and more trained front-line staff so that passengers feel protected. For example, guards on the two-person subway crews ensure passenger safety in a way a one-person crew cannot,” added President Santos.
ATU Local 113 is also calling for the Toronto Transit Commission to join us in recognizing Transit Worker Assault Awareness Day and participating in yearly awareness campaigns. Santos notes there were 66 instances of reported assaults against members of CUPE local 5089.
“Everyone at the TTC is in this together,” added Santos.