Transit union president calls on Premier Ford to correct minister Lecce’s oversight, include transit workers in emergency childcare benefit


January 9 2020

TORONTO - ATU Canada National President, John Di Nino is angered by Education Minister Stephen Lecce’s statement earlier today. While the government says they are extending childcare benefits, they failed to include transit workers, who have provided a critical service during the pandemic. They work split shifts, weekends, holidays and are not being offered the opportunity to access emergency childcare benefits. Transit workers have been sacrificing to keep the community safe, to move essential workers and people on essential trips across Ontario.

“Transit workers, many of whom are parents, physically go to work too, Minister,” said Di Nino. “There is absolutely no reason they should be excluded from accessing benefits; just like other front line workers, transit professionals have made sacrifices and risks to keep our province and our country moving.”

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. 

“From the suspicious timing of the announcement to the oversight of the transit workforce in the emergency benefit extension, the Minister’s handling of the pandemic has been egregious at best.” said Di Nino. “The Premier needs to step in and school Lecce on the importance of front-line transit workers to our economy and society.” 


For media inquiries:

Sam Hersh


[email protected]