ATU Local 113 Sisters and Brothers were proud to represent the nearly 12,000 public transit workers from Toronto and the York Region as delegates at the 59th triennial ATU International Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada from September 23 to 27.
The agenda included topics of importance to ATU Local 113 and its sister unions across Canada, with delegates passing important resolutions including demanding that the right to organize be included in all Canadian provincial laws, fighting for a federal transit strategy and urging political leaders to introduce legislation to protect bus operators from assault.
ATU Local 113 would like to recognize Matthew Green, a progressive candidate for the NDP in Hamilton Centre who addressed the convention. “We believe that transit is a right. That mobility in an urban center is a right and we’ll fight for that right,” Mr. Green declared to delegates. “We will fight… But we can’t do it alone, which is why solidarity is the single most important thing to overcome the isolation of the work that we do.”
In addition to the several union and nonprofit leaders from across the U.S. and Canada that spoke, delegates watched video messages from Democratic presidential primary candidates U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden and Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Delegates were urged to continue holding Presidential candidates and indeed all people running for public office to account for their lip service during campaigns. It is imperative that political candidates do not abandon their words of support and solidarity once they are elected to public office.
The convention culminated with the over 1,400 delegates representing more than 200,000 ATU members electing the new executive board. The convention elected John Costa as International President, re-elected Javier Perez as International Executive Vice President and Oscar Owens as International Secretary-Treasurer. After serving as an International Vice President since 2010, Mr. Costa assumed the position of ATU International President in May 2019, following the unexpected and tragic death of late International President Lawrence J. Hanley.
Also re-elected by delegates were eighteen International Vice Presidents including Manny Sforza, an ATU Brother from Toronto who will proudly represent our city. ATU Local 113 would like to thank him for putting his name forward and congratulate him on his electoral win!
Read more about the ATU International Convention from ATU Canada here.