TORONTO, ONTARIO – (March 19, 2020) – Carlos Santos, President of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113, released the following statement regarding the confirmation that a TTC maintenance worker at the Duncan garage was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 19:
“Our thoughts are with our member who was diagnosed with COVID-19 and their family. We wish them a speedy recovery while self-isolating. We’ll provide whatever support is needed for this member, as well as other members who are in self-isolation or have been impacted.
Many public transit workers are rightfully concerned about this diagnosis, but I want to assure them that their health and safety is our top priority. In recent days, ATU Local 113 secured additional health protections for workers, including full pay for members in self-isolation and quarantine, the choice to wear protective face masks on the job, no medical notes required for sick leave until March 31, as well as fare collectors and customer service agents having the flexibility to work in TTC Subway station booths if they have health and safety concerns. The TTC has also implemented all-door boarding to avoid crowding at front vehicle entrances.
For maintenance workers, we continue to work with the TTC to ensure increased cleaning and disinfection measures are available and followed to protect workers’ health.
The individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19 returned from travel abroad on March 11, two days before the Government of Canada recommended that all travellers arriving from international destinations self-isolate for 14 days. Canada has now implemented these additional safety measures as further precautions.
ATU Local 113 is following the advice of public health experts by telling public transit workers to stay home if they feel unwell.
Toronto’s 12,000 operators and maintenance workers are providing Toronto with critical transportation service during this public health crisis, including getting health care workers to where they need to be. Public transit workers are among Toronto’s finest and ATU Local 113 will continue to ensure the TTC provides a safe, clean and healthy work environment for all workers.”