Transit operators' union calls for all party support on federal NDP MP Peter Julian's motion in Parliament to increase jail sentences for assaults on bus drivers



    CAW 111 and CAW 333 say attacks on drivers have to stop and stiffer
    sentences would help

    VANCOUVER, June 13 /CNW/ - Two BC Canadian Auto Workers union locals
representing transit operators at TransLink and BC Transit are calling for
all-party support on a motion in Parliament that would see stiffer sentences
for those found guilty of assaulting bus drivers and transit personnel.
    CAW 111 in the Lower Mainland and CAW 333 in Victoria say the growing
number of assaults on transit operators and the increasing seriousness of the
attacks require longer sentences as a deterrent to such crimes.
    The two locals are joining other unions in supporting a motion by NDP MP
Peter Julian - Burnaby-New Westminster - that asks the government to amend the
Criminal Code so judges impose tougher sentences for assault on a transit
operator.
    "This is a welcome initiative that we hope all parties in the House of
Commons will support to reduce violence against transit operators," said Steve
Sutherland, president of CAW 111, representing 3000 workers at TransLink and
Coast Mountain Bus Company.
    "In 2006 we had about 200 assaults on drivers, more than any previous
year and five times more than in the 1970s," Sutherland said. "We've also seen
drivers beaten unconscious and drivers off work for months as a result of
vicious injuries - this has to stop and tougher sentences will help both
drivers and our passengers."
    Bill Young, president of CAW 333 representing BC Transit workers in
Victoria, says the epidemic of assaults on transit operators is nation-wide
and requires action.
    "Bus drivers in every major city in Canada are facing increasing numbers
of attacks and something has to be done," Young said. "Stiffer sentences are
an important part of a wide variety of measures needed to make transit
operators and their passengers safer."
    Julian's motion released today reads: "That, in the opinion of the House,
the government should extend to bus drivers and transit operators, the same
protections under the Criminal Code afforded to police and ambulance
personnel, who are assaulted while performing their duties, by establishing
stiff penalties for anyone who assaults a bus driver or a transit operator."
    Sutherland and Young were in Ottawa Wednesday to press Members of
Parliament to support Julian's motion.
    In December CAW 111 posted an ongoing reward of $2000 for information
leading to the conviction of anyone assaulting a bus driver or other employee.





For further information:

For further information: Steve Sutherland at cell (604) 992-1781 or Bill
Young at cell (250) 818-1913 or Bill Tieleman, West Star Communications, at
(604) 844-7827 or cell (778) 896-0964. Website: www.caw111.com

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Canadian Auto Workers Local 111

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