Local 1576

Assaults on Transit Workers

In the past five years, there has been a dramatic increase in the level and intensity of senseless attacks on transit workers. The impact on the victims is clear. Broken eye sockets. Deep puncture wounds. The loss of certain bodily functions. And while broken bones heal with time, the emotional scars linger indefinitely. After brutal attacks transit workers are constantly looking over their shoulder in paranoia, many cannot come back to work. For women who are victims of unspeakable sexual assaults on the vehicles, life is of course never the same again. ATU has been calling on transit agencies and elected officials to better protect bus drivers, transit workers, and riders for some time. In the U.S. thanks to the efforts of the International, local leaders and our U.S. members, ATU was able to secure language in the FAST Act transit bill that requires the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to issue new rules to address the issue of bus operator assault. That process is now underway. In Canada ATU has been pushing for legislation to stiffen penalties against those who attack transit workers.

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