Statement from National President John Di Nino on Exclusion of Transit Workers from Emergency Childcare by Ford Government

Monday, January 25th, 2021

Premier Ford, Minister Lecce,

Three weeks ago on the 9th of January, when your government made an announcement to extend emergency child care to front line workers. We were very disappointed to see that transit workers were once again not included in the updated list.

Upon hearing of the announcement, we sent out a press release and made a public demand that transit workers be included but were met with no response from your government. We are surprised and disappointed to see transit workers not making the list.

Transit workers, many of whom are parents, have provided a critical service during the pandemic. They work split shifts, weekends, holidays. Just like other frontline workers, transit workers have been making sacrifices to keep the community safe and to move essential workers and others on essential trips across Ontario.

Many in the transit workforce are physically at work for the majority of the day due to split shifts in order to provide 24-hour service. The spread time for a transit worker can be up to 13 hours away from home if they have to service the AM and PM rush hours. Maintenance workers work around the clock to fill in workforce shortages and service vehicles for the following day’s requirements. The crisis for transit workers of balancing child-care with split shifts and long hours has been exacerbated under the pandemic so we see no reason for why they should be excluded. 

We urge your government to reconsider the decision made today and extend emergency childcare to transit workers whose families are in desperate need of the extra help and support. 

John Di Nino, President

ATU Canada