ATU Canada Calls Ford’s Dismissal of Transit Workers in Washroom Access Mandate Callous and Unacceptable


TORONTO – ATU Canada National President, John Di Nino is calling the Ford government’s dismissal of transit workers in the newly passed washroom access legislation a “callous and unacceptable move.”

Yesterday, it was announced that the government had passed Bill 27 or its “Working for Workers Act.” Among other things, the legislation included making it law for delivery workers to have access to washrooms at businesses where they are delivering or picking up items. The legislation now covers a large breadth of delivery workers and transport drivers including truck drivers, couriers, food delivery workers and Canada Post delivery employees but leaves out transit workers entirely.

“The message from the Ford government and Labour Minister Monte McNaughton is clear: they don’t care about transit workers or the safety of transit riders.” Said John Di Nino. “Because of this government, the frontline workers they have lauded so loudly throughout the pandemic, will continue to needlessly suffer.”

Many attempts were made in good faith by the ATU to try and consult with the government over Bill 27 but all requests were ignored. The Ontario NDP attempted to pass an amendment to include transit workers but that too was rejected.

For years, operators have avoided drinking water during the workday, relieved themselves into bottles or on the street, and even soiled themselves in the line of duty. The problem is especially prevalent for pregnant and older operators, those with medical conditions of the bladder or bowels, and for people taking diuretic medication. 

“If this was really a piece of legislation for workers, then transit workers should have been consulted” Said Di Nino. “The only “workers” this bill works for are those in power at Queen’s Park.”


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