St Thomas Bus Drivers in ATU Local 1415 Win Company-Wide Changes at Voyago

This is a timeline of how bus drivers used their union power to take on health and safety deficiencies and WON!

April 8th: Bus drivers call in a complaint to the Ministry of Labour

April 9th: An occupational health and safety officer conducts field visit to St. Thomas Transit to inspect bus and paratransit conditions.

April 12th: ATU union steward conducts a safety audit on cleaning forms filled out by operators following their shift. The steward finds that the supervisor has not signed a cleaning form since March 18.

April 13th: Voyago General Manager Jason Keilor is sent a letter by the ATU International President John Costa and ATU Canada President John Di Nino outlining ten personal protective equipment demands.

April 13th: A Voyago manager responds to the Union Steward and calls him a bully who is attempting to intimidate management and that everything is fine and the company is satisfied.

April 13th: ATU local 1415 President says he wants PPE expanded to the entire paratransit group beyond St. Thomas.

April 14th: ATU Canada President John Di Nino goes on 980 CFPL Global News London to blow the whistle on the lack of training, personal protective equipment and communication for the front-line bus and paratransit operators. Di Nino says the conditions for bus operators and paratransit drivers are the worst he has seen.

April 15th: The Ministry of Labour finds three violations at Voyago. The violations are the highest amount issued to a transit company in the province. The company is order to (1) take every precaution to protect bus drivers who are unable to maintain physical distancing; (2) take every reasonable precaution with paratransit bus drivers who are unable to maintain physical distancing; (3) provide information on training on donning and doffing personal protective equipment

April 15-16th: Personal Protective Equipment and training is rolled out to all paratransit and bus operators in St. Thomas and London.

When bus drivers unite and work together to fix their problems, they win every time!

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