Your ATU Local 113 Executive Board is requesting an immediate meeting with TTC management to address concerns that workers are exposed to high concentrations of potentially harmful air pollution in the subway system.
Health Canada, the University of Toronto and McGill University published an independent study on April 25, 2017 that found high concentrations of fine particular matter, including iron, in the subway system are approximately 10 times the level found outside TTC stations. The results from Toronto’s subway system are similar to an average day in Beijing, the Chinese capital that struggles with extraordinarily high levels of air pollution.
Over the years, ATU Local 113 has repeatedly requested air quality testing on the subway system. However, time and time again, TTC management has resisted these requests.
Transit workers deserve better and we want answers from TTC management. Along with requesting an immediate meeting with TTC management, we are demanding a full investigation. ATU Local 113 will also consult with our own expert to determine the health and safety implications for our members.
With the publication of the study, we know researchers measured the air quality on subway platforms and inside trains over several weeks between 2010 and 2013. This begs the question – what did the TTC know? When did the TTC know it? What has the TTC done to protect workers over the years? And, why has the TTC failed to conduct its own testing?
At a time when TTC management falsely claims that random drug and alcohol testing will improve safety, these questions make you wonder whether Andy Byford and his executive team are serious about dealing with real health and safety issues.