Workers deserve to be treated with dignity and respect on the job. At a minimum, they deserve secure workplaces where they can rest assured that when they go to work, they’ll come home safe each evening. That isn’t the case for many transit workers. Violence against transit workers seems to be on the rise and sadly, not enough is being done about it.
Amalgamated Transit Union has long been lobbying for better protections for these hard-working public service providers. Politicians and Employers pay lip service to how seriously they view the issue, but that hasn’t translated to higher levels of care for the transit operators. ATU workers have presented their stories to the media, voicing their concerns and frustrations due to the lack of attention to this matter, but it seems that increased awareness, pressure and action is still necessary. The injuries suffered range from bloody noses, sexual assaults, facial deformities, broken bones and even death in these senseless attacks.
ATU hopes to create a task force at a national level with the government’s aid to take intensive measures to ensure its members’ safety and protection through training, equipment, and tracking systems. However, the idea was not implemented by the government. Toronto Mayor John Tory suggested the issue will be addressed through raising awareness and campaigns. We’re still waiting. And in any event, increased public awareness on its own hardly qualifies as an intensive measure to confront the attackers of transit workers and rectify the untenable situation.
In the last quarter of 2021, sixty-seven TTC workers were assaulted, and those numbers continue to grow. In addition to the serious physical consequences of these attacks, these events have led employees to suffer from severe anxiety, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and related issues that compromise quality of life. Winnipeg Transit Workers have suffered numerous serious assaults including a death by stabbing.
Enough is enough! Transit workers provide a valuable public service. They didn’t get the credit they deserved as they continued to work on the front lines through the worst of the pandemic, long before vaccines were even available. They ensure that the traveling public and their loved ones arrive safely at their destinations every day. It’s time we put our money where our mouth is to take safety concerns seriously and ensure workers everywhere are assured of their safety when they show up to provide their services.
At Watson Labour Law, we understand and value the commitment and dedication provided by each employee in their line of duty. We offer a team of skilled legal representatives dealing with union-side labour law to understand and cater to your union’s needs. We provide training and educationals, political lobbying, negotiation assistance, and exceptional legal representation. Our purpose is not only to provide quality legal services but to have your voices heard. You have the right to safe workplaces. Our passion at Watson Labour Law is to effectively advocate for your members because we understand our client’s concerns and needs.