Canada

TTC workers’ union calls for protection from rapidly-spreading variants

A masked TTC streetcar rider along Dundas St. W., near Landsdowne Ave. in Toronto, Ont. on Wednesday April 29, 2020.

The union representing 12,000 TTC workers is calling on the transit agency to do more to protect its employees and riders in light of the rapid spread of COVID-19 variants in the province.

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Local 113, is asking the TTC to bring back the same health and safety measures it imposed when the pandemic began. The TTC has since discontinued rear-door boarding on buses, blocking the two seats behind bus operators and banning cash payments or paper transfers.

“As dangerous coronavirus variants spread within the community and transit workers put themselves at risk every day, the TTC should continue to operate with the utmost caution,” said union president Carlos Santos in a statement.

“The TTC must do everything it can to protect workers and can start by implementing these straightforward health and safety measures.”

According to the union, 750 TTC employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since March 2020.

  1. Buses wait to go into service at the Comstock TTC yards on March 23, 2020.

    Transit union wants vaccinations fast-tracked for TTC workers

  2. The view from the back of a packed TTC bus on Jan. 25, 2021.

    WARMINGTON: Overcrowded buses, stressed TTC drivers a sad reality

During the pandemic’s second wave, TTC spokesperson Stuart Green said the safety measures wouldn’t be reinstated because they were put in place “out of an abundance of caution when less was known about the virus.”

The union also wants the TTC to enforce its mandatory mask policy for riders, calling for the TTC to enforce a strict “no-mask, no-ride” policy.

The TTC did not respond to a request for comment on the union’s latest demands.

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