Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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New York City transit allows all transit workers to wear masks. When will the TTC follow suit?

TORONTO, ONTARIO – (March 11, 2020) – New York City’s public transit system, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), sent a memo to their employees noting that they can wear masks on the job amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak if they “have underlying medical conditions or if this makes them feel more comfortable at this time.”

Amid these reports, Carlos Santos, President of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113, released the following statement:

“ATU Local 113 has been determined from the start of the coronavirus outbreak that members should be allowed to wear masks if they feel it’s in the best interest of their health. Our members are rightfully concerned about their health and safety and they have the right to protect themselves and feel safe while operating and maintaining the TTC.

While New York City’s transit authority shows leadership on COVID-19 and a commitment to its employees’ physical health and psychological wellbeing, the TTC continues to deny its workers the right to protect their health.

If there is no health hazard, why is the TTC giving staff responsible for disinfecting vehicles protective gear? Why did the TTC send an email to Wheel-Trans employees on January 27 asking that they wear masks on the job? If COVID-19 is hazardous for some workers, it is hazardous for all workers.

ATU Local 113 is calling on the TTC to follow New York City’s leadership and give public transit workers the option to wear masks while on the job. It’s time for the TTC to stop worrying about public perception and focus on public protection.”

You can read the full New York Daily News story here: MTA allows all transit workers to wear face masks amid coronavirus mania

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