VANCOUVER, May 8, 2020 /CNW/ - Widespread transit worker layoffs will be averted thanks to emergency funding announced today by the federal and provincial governments, says Unifor.
"Passengers and transit workers across the country mobilized to defend public transit," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "We're relieved that governments listened and answered with funding that will help avoid transit chaos during recovery from a pandemic."
Unifor led the charge for emergency funding with an online campaign (unifor.org/peopleneedtransit) and a constant lobbying effort at all levels of government. On April 25, the union held an online virtual rally to give a voice to frustrated transit workers who knew that proposed layoffs would be devastating for the commutes of frontline COVID heroes.
Today's announcement will result in the cancellation of 1,200 layoffs of Unifor members, and nearly 300 other union members in the Translink system.
"Transit operators and skilled trades maintenance staff are a lynchpin in the urban transportation network," said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. "They're on the frontlines with other COVID heroes doing work that it is critical to the Canadian economy during this precarious time. Emergency funding announced today will help keep transit workers on the job so they can help other COVID heroes do theirs."
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.