TORONTO, Oct. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - After winning three successive elections as president of the 10,000-member Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113, Bob Kinnear has been acclaimed for a fourth consecutive three-year term.
This is the first time in more than 60 years that the Local 113 presidency has been won by acclamation.
Kinnear first gained the union's leadership in 2003 by coming off the shop floor to beat the incumbent president by less than 500 votes in a hotly-contested election. At 33, he was the youngest leader in the history of Local 113 and is now the longest-serving president in more than 60 years. He was easily re-elected in his next two outings, winning 80 per cent of the vote in elections that saw the highest membership turnout in the Local's history.
As president, Kinnear transformed Local 113 into a socially and politically active union through community outreach programs, generous support of numerous local, national and international charities, aggressive lobbying at City Hall and Queen's Park and major public awareness campaigns, including the current Protecting What Matters program about the value to the city of TTC's Maintenance workforce. He has also improved membership communications with new publications and a website, and became the first union leader in Canada to give contract bargaining updates to members using voice broadcast telephone technology.
Kinnear began his career at the TTC as a Janitor in the Maintenance Department in 1988 and progressed through the ranks of several jobs, including Bus and Subway Operator.
"It has been an incredible honour to represent the men and women of Local 113 for these past nine years," says Kinnear. "Transit is the number one issue in Toronto, and it should be. Our members operate and maintain the most economically efficient transit system in North America, despite years of political neglect and underfunding. I don't care how many times I have to say that because it's true."
Kinnear has pledged in his fourth term to continue to fight both the city and the province on transit privatization.
"Privatization has been a disaster for taxpayers and transit users everywhere in the world it has been tried. We cannot sit idly by and watch it happen here."
Elections for the rest of the positions on the 17-member Local 113 Executive Board will be held in early December.
SOURCE: Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113
For further information:
Bill Reno, 416-223-7366