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Public transit under attack: Niagara region bus driver speaks

By: 
Sandi Mansfield

March 23, 2021
 
 
We need to be creative as the bosses are using this pandemic to erode our working conditions. The reality is the bosses aren't listening to the workers, who are saying the same thing as the users. Recently here in Welland the city council was going to go back to dial-a-service for bus rides. People flooded the city councillors phone lines and enough voted against it. 
 
Niagara Falls decreased service during the recent implementation of lock down. Within one week the city had so many phone calls about people getting stranded and not able to get home from school or work the city had to reverse to the regular service. 
 
Make no mistake it was the transit riders group in Welland who were able to encourage people to call in and demand the service they needed. In Niagara Falls, it was a number of operators who spilled the beans to passengers, especially those going to and from work, that services were going to be reduced. They not only spilled the beans but handed out the number for people to call and demand service.
 
The long and short is workers need to fight back. However, we need to be creative. If transit workers and education workers fight for better conditions for their loved ones at long term care homes, then the staff there will have better conditions. If education workers and health care staff fight for better transit conditions then transit workers will have better work. If transit workers and health care workers fight for better conditions in schools, education workers will have better conditions. 
 
We need to fight for each other not just within our own sector. Some unions and/or locals are not up to this with the way they operate. We can no longer focus only on our particular sector of work, we need to fight for all of the working class.
 
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