Canada’s Transit Union Statement on City of Windsor Bus Closure

March 27, 2020 

TORONTO—John Di Nino, President of Amalgamated Transit Union, Canada (ATU Canada) released the following statement regarding today’s news and comments made by the City of Windsor’s Mayor, Drew Dilkens.

People in positions of power should not use COVID-19 to further their agenda or settle a score. The Mayor may have an issue with the push back he received from the ATU over the use of non-transit workers to clean buses - but the Union was merely protecting its members’ rights. This is an anti-union reprisal at the worst possible time. The Mayor broke his oath of office, to continue delivering public services to its taxpayers. ATU transit workers have continued work above and beyond and around the clock to disinfect transit buses and provide the transit service their community desperately needs. Windsor transit workers are demanding the immediate reinstatement of service.


An abrupt decision by the Mayor to shut down Transit Windsor, without consultation and with only 30 minutes advance notice – left thousands of people who rely on public transit stranded, including critical workers in essential services, vulnerable passengers, and public transit employees.


The Mayor has acted against the advice of the Chief Health Officers for the Province and Country – and he is encouraging people to pitch in by helping transit-reliant neighbours with rides and errands. This is clearly against the social distancing being urged by all levels of government.  


While we are all feeling the effects of COVID-19, politicians should always be held accountable to act in the best interest of the people they serve – in this case, those who rely on transit as a means of transportation and public transit workers who have been working around the clock and have a right to work as per their collective agreement.

John Di Nino is available for interviews at (416) 938-0746.