TORONTO, ONTARIO – (September 3, 2019) – Carlos Santos, President of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113, today released the following statement regarding the TTC pleading guilty to a violation of the Ontario Ministry of Labour Occupational Health and Safety Act that resulted in the death of ATU Local 113 member Tom Dedes, a track maintenance worker with the TTC:
“This is a sad day for our union as Toronto’s 12,000 public transit workers continue to grieve for Tom Dedes, an ATU Local 113 member who left us too soon. Today, we offer our deepest condolences and support to Tom Dedes’ family, friends and co-workers.
The TTC today finally admitted guilt for violating the Ontario Ministry of Labour Occupational Health and Safety Act by ‘failing to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker,’ which resulted in the death of Tom Dedes in October 2017.
Today’s guilty plea is further evidence the TTC must do more to protect its workers. ATU Local 113 will continue to support our union representatives on the Joint Health and Safety Committee to ensure the TTC is held accountable and exercises due diligence with implementing all recommended changes to create a safer workplace for all.
The TTC’s admission of guilt and the resulting fine is a somewhat hollow victory for Tom Dedes’ family, friends and co-workers who still deal with the tragic events and will continue to deal with the circumstances of his loss for the rest of their lives.
The TTC should have ended this case much sooner. The TTC legal team has had possession of all the reports, statements and Ontario Ministry of Labour documents for a long time, but waited until attending court, one month shy of two years since the incident occurred, to admit guilt and settle. As is usual in these cases, the only people who come out ahead are the TTC’s lawyers as the TTC continues to waste taxpayers’ money fighting cases dealing with important health and safety matters.
Along with unnecessarily prolonging this case, our union’s position is that the TTC failed to provide an adequate support system for the employees who witnessed the incident and experienced trauma. For almost two years, family, friends, co-workers, and investigators have dealt with trauma. Thoughts of that night, reliving the experience throughout the investigation and anticipating reliving the events in an unfamiliar court environment have caused many sleepless nights and stressful days for those involved.
Moving forward from this tragedy, ATU Local 113 will fight to ensure the TTC provides a safer workplace and proper support for all workers who experience trauma.”