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 public transit workers’ prioritization for COVID-19 vaccines in Ontario.
“ATU Local 113 is calling on the Ontario government to make it an immediate priority to vaccinate TTC workers who wish to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Under the provincial government’s current plan, Ontario is not expected to vaccinate transit workers until mid-June while people living in hot spot communities have already started receiving vaccinations. While we agree with priority community vaccinations, many TTC workers operate within these same hot spot communities transporting essential workers to their employment and providing transportation for essential errands to thousands of community members in Toronto.
Unlike manufacturing plants or other workplaces that have experienced COVID-19 outbreaks, the TTC cannot shut down for a couple weeks, as many in hot spot communities and other neighbourhoods depend on reliable public transit service during the pandemic. TTC workers also don’t have the option to work from home, making them high-risk workers who must have the option to receive the COVID-19 vaccine immediately for their own safety and the safety of our community.”