363 assaults against TTC workers have been reported as of November 23, 2021
TORONTO, ONTARIO – Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113, which represents close to 12,000 TTC workers, is pleased to share that Toronto Mayor John Tory will proclaim December 17 as the first ever Transit Worker Assault Awareness Day in the City of Toronto.
In an effort to raise awareness around the prevalence of assaults against TTC drivers, ATU Local 113 had made a request to Mayor John Tory to proclaim this important day. Work started in 2020 to raise awareness when it was clear physical, verbal, and psychological assaults against TTC workers were increasing because of the pandemic.
“With assaults on TTC workers continuing to rise in 2021, this issue is of great concern for our members who have heroically served Toronto throughout the pandemic. Like everyone, Toronto’s transit workers should always feel comfortable and safe while on the job. Transit Worker Assault Awareness Day is an important step, but we must move beyond this day to come up with solutions to address this worsening problem,” said Carlos Santos, President of ATU Local 113.
“Throughout the pandemic, TTC drivers have been on the frontlines getting residents to the places they need to go. While working hard to help residents get to and from work, school and around the city, they have been experiencing an increase in assaults on the job. Everyone in our city deserves a healthy and safe work environment – by proclaiming today as Transit Worker Assault Awareness Day we are not only raising awareness around this issue but acknowledging the work that we need to do to bring an end to it. I encourage residents to join us in creating a safe and healthy work environment for our TTC workers,” said John Tory, Mayor of Toronto.
Transit Worker Assault Awareness Day will bring more public awareness to the many challenges and dangers TTC workers face while courageously working the frontlines. On December 17, Torontonians will notice TTC workers wearing buttons with the number 363+ on them.
From stabbings to spitting to verbal abuse and other forms of assault, there have been over 363 reported assaults against TTC workers so far this year.
An assault on a transit worker is essentially occurring more than once a day. The problem of violence on our transit system is systemic but has risen with the pandemic. A total of 93 operator assaults occurred during the third quarter of 2020 (July to September), an increase of 10 (12%) compared to the third quarter of 2019. A total of 86 operator assaults occurred during the first quarter of 2021 (January 1 to April 4), an increase of 15 (23%) compared to the fourth quarter of 2020.
Beyond this day and throughout the year, ATU Local 113 will work with Mayor Tory and the TTC to help protect public transit workers from assaults on the job.