TORONTO, Dec. 7, 2018 /CNW/ - Local 113 of the Amalgamated Transit Union has elected Carlos Santos as President/Business Agent in the triennial election held on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. Santos, a streetcar operator with 12 years' experience at the Toronto Transit Commission, unseated incumbent president, Frank Grimaldi, a former bus operator. Over 7,000 votes were cast in the election.
Santos formally takes office for three years on January 1, 2019. He has declared that his overriding priority will be to address the growing pressures and resulting stress on the 11,000 transit workers in Canada's largest city.
"It is not a healthy situation out there on the roads, subways and maintenance shops," Santos says. "Customer traffic is steadily rising, the roads are busier than ever and the demands on maintenance workers continue to grow.
"The public expects good transit service, which they should, but the politicians at all levels refuse to adequately fund our system. The result is more pressure on the workers, which is a known health and safety hazard. We can and must do better."
Santos also says that public transit is vital to Canada's efforts to combat climate change, another reason funding must be increased.
"Transit is the single most effective way to reduce carbon emissions by getting more cars off our roads. Toronto has the dubious honour of being the most traffic-congested city in North America, a sad fact that can only be attributed to the failure of politicians to adequately fund the TTC.
"The Premier and the Prime Minister should get out of their limos once in a while and go to work by public transit. Maybe then they will start to empathize with the passengers and the workers who are struggling with a system in crisis. Probably they won't do this but we can always hope."
Santos said he will reach out to other groups in Toronto that are calling for more transit investments with the aim of building coalitions.
"Every TTC worker is a soldier in the war against climate change. We want to make alliances with others who also want to protect the future of the planet.
ATU 113 is the largest public transit local union in North America, with over 11,000 members. The local was founded in 1899 and has been in continuous operation since.
SOURCE Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113
For further information: Carlos Santos, President/Business Agent, (416) 398-5113