Transit union head slams City Manager's TTC cut recommendations as "a war on commuters, low-wage workers, the disabled and the environment."

TORONTO, Sept. 12, 2011 /CNW/ - The union that represents nearly 10,000 Toronto Transit Commission workers has taken the City Manager to task for recommending more crowding on TTC vehicles, penalizing people who work nights and rely on the TTC, and reducing access to Wheel-Trans for the disabled.

"This is a war on commuters, low-wage workers, the disabled and the environment," said Bob Kinnear, President of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113.

The City Manager's report released this morning calls for rolling back prior TTC service improvements, including "changes to the crowding standard." The report also calls for consideration of reducing or eliminating the Blue Night Network or making it a "premium service" by raising fares.

"At a time when pollution levels are at record highs and Toronto's road congestion is the worst in North America, recommendations to reduce TTC services are delusional," Kinnear said.

"What this report says is: 'Let's punish low wage night shift workers who cannot afford cars and let's cram more commuters into already intolerably-crowded rush hour vehicles,'" he added.

"This will drive people away from transit, creating more pollution, more road congestion and more anger about inadequate TTC service. It is absolutely intolerable and we will be fighting these cuts on behalf of transit users and workers alike."

Kinnear also criticized the report's call to shift disabled riders from Wheel-Trans to conventional transit as unrealistic.

"You say you want to crowd the conventional vehicles more and then tell the disabled to try to get on those vehicles. Have you no decency or respect for our disabled citizens?" asked Kinnear.

Kinnear noted that the City Manager recommendations were unchanged from the KPMG Report, which was thoroughly trashed by hundreds of deputants at the July 28 marathon meeting of the city Executive Committee. Kinnear's deputation to the Executive can be seen here.

Note: Bob Kinnear will be unavailable for interviews on Monday, Sept 12 and Tuesday, Sept 13.

SOURCE Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113

For further information:

Bill Reno, 416-223-7366

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Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113

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