I have become aware of footage documenting racist, misogynistic abuse directed at a member of ATU Local 113. Our member was just doing her job when she was verbally assaulted and threatened by a member of the public. This is profoundly unacceptable. Our members are on the frontlines and they are entitled to the same standard of safety and security as all workers.
In light of this and other recent events, Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113 demands that the TTC and Toronto Police Service do everything in their power and jurisdiction to ensure that criminal, racist, and misogynistic behaviour towards transit workers be met with real and substantial consequences.
Specifically, we demand that the assailant be charged criminally and permanently banned from access to the TTC. All Torontonians should feel safe and welcome on the TTC. Actions such as those depicted in the footage should forfeit an individual’s right to access to public transit. No worker, whether serving public transit or otherwise, should have to deal with this type of abuse in their place of work.
We are heartened by the response to date from Mayor Olivia Chow and Councillor Jamaal Myers. They have indicated their support for our member. Their support and that of co-workers and peers who have reached out to the member is much appreciated.
We are however, deeply troubled by the lack of support shown by TTC management to our member. No resources were made available to her at the scene of the incident, and she was forced to drive her own bus to a station to engage supervisory staff. This indifference and lack of support of its employees is a sad symptom of a culture at TTC that has long needed a change.
Our member has indicated to us that this was a troubling and an unfortunate incident for her. She feels that no one should be subjected to this criminal and offensive behaviour. She has requested respect of her privacy as she tries to move forward with her work as an Operator.