TTC frontline workers did not receive terror alert, says Toronto transit workers' union

TORONTO, Aug. 12, 2016 /CNW/ - The union that represents most Toronto Transit Commission workers says that the TTC needs to re-examine its employee communications program. According to Bob Kinnear, President of ATU Local 113, the "vigilance alert" that was sent to all TTC employees did not reach them.

"We're not saying the alert was not issued. We're saying we can't find any frontline workers who received it.

"My phone started ringing as soon as the television reports began," said Kinnear.

"Every member asked the same question: 'What alert? I didn't see anything.'

"So we began our own investigation. I have spoken with dozens of workers, none of whom had heard about this TTC management report before the news was publicly broadcast. Nor was the union informed.

"We were finally told by a supervisor that an emailed alert had been sent to supervisory staff, presumably to pass it on to the frontline workers.

"There are missing links in the TTC communications network."

Kinnear said that his obligation to speak up for his members prompted this response to the TTC's claim that all employees were alerted to be more vigilant.

"Some riders made comments about the alert that TTC workers were supposed to have received. Most of the comments were well-meaning and concerned, though not all. 'What's the latest on the terror alert?' has been a common question. It's a little awkward to say to customers: 'I don't know what you're talking about,' but that was the case.

"At the very least, the union should have been notified. We have an internal communications system – it's called 'word of mouth,' - that could have helped. When you're dealing with something as deadly serious as a potential terrorist attack you should not keep the workers' representative out of the loop. We gladly would have helped. And still will."

Established in 1899, ATU Local 113 represents 10,500 operations and maintenance workers at the Toronto Transit Commission and York Region Transit.

SOURCE Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113

For further information: Bill Reno, 416.949.2455


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