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 Toronto Mayor John Tory’s announcement today that face coverings will be made mandatory for TTC riders as of July 2:
“Since early May, ATU Local 113 has called on the TTC to make face coverings mandatory on public transit and we welcome today’s announcement. Implementing this policy will protect workers and riders alike and is the right thing to do to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 within our communities.
Since Toronto’s transit workers first called for mandatory masks on May 8, ATU Local 113 has had several discussions with the TTC on this matter and we’ll continue working with them to roll out this policy across the system.
The TTC’s implementation of mandatory face coverings comes at a crucial time when the Ontario government and City of Toronto are re-opening the economy, which will increase ridership on the TTC.
While face masks are critical to help protect workers and riders, Toronto needs federal and provincial government funding to keep the TTC moving. Despite calls from ATU Local 113 and numerous organizations, the federal and provincial governments have yet to provide emergency financial support for the TTC and other public transit services. Without urgent action from senior levels of government, Mayor Tory has said the TTC may be forced to reduce service by 50 per cent, which would have a devastating impact on many low-income essential workers who depend on the TTC to get to hospitals, long-term care homes, grocery stores, pharmacies and other critical services during the COVID-19 pandemic.”