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OCCUPY TOGETHER

O F F I C I A L J O U R N A L O F T H E A M A LG A M AT E D T R A N S I T U N I O N

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INTERNATIONAL OFFICERS LAWRENCE J. HANLEY International President ROBERT H. BAKER International Executive Vice President OSCAR OWENS International Secretary-Treasurer

INTERNATIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS RODNEY RICHMOND

New Orleans, LA – rrichmond@atu.org

LARRY R. KINNEAR

Ashburn, ON – lkinnear@atu.org

JAVIER M. PEREZ, JR.

Kansas City, MO – jperez@atu.org

RICHARD M. MURPHY

Newburyport, MA – rmurphy@atu.org

BOB M. HYKAWAY

NEWSBRIEFS DOL rules new Austin transit provider must honor workers’ collective bargaining rights. The U.S. Department of Labor agreed to release federal grants to Capital Metro over objections from Local 1091. However, federal regulators affirmed the local’s stance that “Cap” Metro must uphold current (Section 13(c)) collective bargaining rights as it transitions from in-house bus operations to outside contractors. ATU local officers explain that Capital Metro “will do the right thing and hire all employees, and honor existing contract terms …” –The Statesman

Calgary, AB – bhykaway@atu.org

CHARLES COOK

Petaluma, CA – ccook@atu.org

WILLIAM G. McLEAN

Reno, NV – wmclean@atu.org

JANIS M. BORCHARDT

Madison, WI – jborchardt@atu.org

PAUL BOWEN

Canton, MI – pbowen@atu.org

KENNETH R. KIRK

Lancaster, TX – kkirk@atu.org

GARY RAUEN

Clayton, NC – grauen@atu.org

MARCELLUS BARNES

Flossmore, IL – mbarnes@atu.org

RAY RIVERA Lilburn, GA – rrivera@atu.org YVETTE SALAZAR Thornton, CO – ysalazar@atu.org GARY JOHNSON, SR. Cleveland, OH – gjohnson@atu.org ROBIN WEST Rexdale, ON – rwest@atu.org JOHN COSTA Kenilworth, NJ – jcosta@atu.org CHUCK WATSON Syracuse, NY – cwatson@atu.org

Agreement in San Mateo, CA. Local 1574 After months of fruitless negotiations, an agreement was imposed on Local 1574 and the San Mateo County (CA) Transit District (SamTrans) last month, through the process of binding arbitration. The new three-year contract mandates wage freezes and employee contributions to the health and pension plans that will result in a net loss of income to SamTrans workers. The outcome led the local’s officers to suspect that SamTrans had planned to get what they wanted through arbitration all along, rather than negotiating in good faith. Strong unions = strong middle class. New census data released shows a correlation between unions and a strong middle class. In 1968, the share of income going to the nation’s middle class was 53.2%, when 28% of all workers were members of unions. Since then, union membership has steadily declined alongside the share of income going to the middle class, with income gains going to the wealthy. – Center for American Progress Action Fund

INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES ANTHONY WITHINGTON

Sebastopol, CA – awithington@atu.org

INTERNATIONAL OFFICERS EMERITUS

DENNIS ANTONELLIS

International President Jim La Sala, ret. International President Warren George, ret.

CLAUDIA HUDSON

International Executive Vice President Ellis Franklin, ret. International Executive Vice President Mike Siano, ret.

Spokane, WA – dantonellis@atu.org Oakland, CA – chudson@atu.org

STEPHAN MACDOUGALL

Boston, MA – smacdougall@atu.org

CANADIAN COUNCIL STAN DERA

Rexdale, ON - director@atucanada.ca

International Secretary-Treasurer Ray Wallace, ret. Subscription: USA and Canada, $5 a year. Single copy: 50 cents. All others: $10 a year. Published bimonthly by the Amalgamated Transit Union, Editor: Shawn Perry, Designer: Paul A. Fitzgerald. Editorial Office: 5025 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20016-4139. Tel: 1-202-537-1645. Please send all requests for address changes to the ATU Registry Dept. ISSN: 0019-3291, USPS: 260-280. PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40033361. RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO: B&M Mailing Service Limited, 35 Van Kirk Drive, Unit 15, Brampton, Ontario L7A 1A5, E-MAIL-BMCOMM@PATHCOM.COM


S E P T/O C T

2011

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International Officers & General Executive Board

NEWS Briefs

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Index Page

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International President’s Message: Occupy Yourself!

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International Executive Vice President’s Message: Be Ready - Don’t Get Left at the Starting Gate

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International Secretary-Treasurer’s Message: Civilization in the Balance

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Hanley to DOT Motorcoach Summit: Deregulation Has Compromised Safety

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President Obama: Invest in Transit, Tax the Rich

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New State Legislative Homepage Unveiled

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Court Holds Palm Beach in Contempt in ATU NLRB Decision: Orders Penalties for Refusing to Comply with Judgement

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Attacks Bathroom Breaks

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Canadian Agenda: Violence against Transit Employees Only Zero Tolerance Will Do

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DC Members Picket Paratransit Provider: Local Protests MV Transportation’s Dangerous, New 13-Hour Schedule

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Failing to Invest in Transportation Will Cause Job Losses, Shrink Household Incomes

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ATU Fighting for Labor in Michigan

TransitWeb: Helping ATU Locals Harness the Power of the Internet for FREE

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Turning Up the Heat on Veolia in Pensacola and Phoenix

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1 In 6 Americans Reported Below Poverty Line in 2010

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Washington, DC Metro Divas Perform at Kennedy Center

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The Amalgamated Transit Union 2011-2012 Scholarship Competition in Memory of Gary Maurer

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Six Outstanding Students Awarded ATU Scholarships

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Translations (French & Spanish)

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In Memoriam

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25 Years Ago: Washington State Local’s Campaign Keeps Buses Rolling

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ATU Activists Learn to Fight Back at U.S. Eastern Regional Conference

Vol. 120, No. 5

ATU JOINS THE OCCUPY WALL STREET PROTESTS

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DON’T X OUT PUBLIC TRANSIT

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BATHROOM BREAKS

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‘Jim Crow’ Poll Tax Revisited

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LARRY HANLEY, INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT

Occupy Yourself! B

us drivers, mechanics, train operators and track workers across our two countries have been under siege for the last few years. It’s been a struggle for longer than that, but as the economy declined, working people became the target. In September, we reflected on the tenth anniversary of the murder of 3,000 people in my hometown. I was president of Local 726-Staten Island, NY, in 2001 and my members had to abandon buses under the World Trade Center after the attack. Members of our  New York  local unions courageously evacuated both school children and adults. TWU members held trains in the Cortlandt Street station under the towers to evacuate victims even as the buildings fell on them. Friends of mine gave their lives saving New Yorkers that day.  Among them was Firefighter Mike Boyle, the son of Firefighters Union President Jimmy Boyle. Both were my friends.   Mike was 37 years old when he died in Tower 1. He was off duty when the alarm rang but made it into Manhattan right on time to give his life doing the job of a public sector worker.

Who Could Have Guessed? Who could have guessed that on the tenth anniversary of their deaths, we would be in drawn out battles all over the U.S. and Canada with spineless politicians who have made firefighters, cops, teachers and bus drivers enemies of the people? But they have! And beginning this September young Americans, joined by young adults from all over the world started camping out a block from Ground Zero to tell the bankers and brokers that the real people – the 99% – can see through the thick political smoke created by them – the 1%.  

Cornerstones of ATU 2011 Training Throughout 2011 ATU has been running classes for

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our local union leaders first, explaining the growing gap between the rich and poor. Second, we have emphasized that we cannot solve the problems we face without broad coalitions. Since 1973, workers on average in the U.S. have not gotten any real (after inflation) wage increases. In that time the compensation for the CEOs and others at the top has skyrocketed. Pensions of workers have been wiped out by greedy corporations. Greyhound is but one example. And we have told that story well in our trainings-especially the fact that the richest 1% control more wealth and pay less taxes than ever.  

Who Caused the Recession? What is so important about the Occupy Wall Street movement is that young people clearly understand who caused this recession and that it was not us. The many conflicts you as members are in will not be fully resolved at any bargaining table. Behind every tough negotiation today are the bankers and financial manipulators who have crashed the world economy and decimated the middle class. They want us to pay for their Wall Street gambling with lower wages, fewer pensions and less health care. The generation now coming of age, our children, have been cheated out of their futures. This must be reversed and the young people who are occupying Wall Street and everywhere else understand why. Together with them we must figure out – how? I urge every member to get involved and find an Occupy event in your area at http://www.meetup.com/occupytogether/. Let’s get busy occupying ourselves.


BOB BAKER, INTERNATIONAL EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

Be Ready – Don’t Get Left at the Starting Gate

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s I sit in my office and look at all the requests for assistance by local unions in so many states and provinces, it is very clear to me that we cannot afford to be unprepared for what is coming our way in the United States and Canada. We are facing the most brutal enemies I have seen in my whole career as a labor leader. We have just had crucial elections in the province of Ontario. In Toronto and now other areas we are being targeted as “essential services” which is a politician’s way of destroying our collective bargaining rights by taking away our right to strike.

‘Just Be Glad You’ve Got a Job’ They will make the playing field so unlevel that we will be constantly fighting an uphill battle, just trying to hang on to what we have worked for all our lives. Management will be freed from the requirement to negotiate with their employees. They will mandate new rules and legislate new laws, and tell our members, “Just be glad you’ve got a job.” In the United States and especially in Ohio right now, the governor had legislation passed in the middle of the night, using sneaky and almost illegal tactics to take away collective bargaining rights for all public employees. All the unions came together and got over 1.4 million signatures from 44 counties in Ohio to put the law on hold and place the measure on the November ballot. Now we have to defeat the law to keep our collective bargaining rights in Ohio.

Don’t Get Left at the Starting Gate! This involves YOU and your family! Your officers need you, your family and your friends to do all you can. Make calls, pass out leaflets, visit work sites, talk to neighbors and passengers about supporting working families simply because it is the right thing to do. These are not political issues, if you lose your collective bargaining rights – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents will lose their bargaining rights in the United States. Conservatives, New Democrats and Liberals will lose their rights in Canada. It doesn’t matter what your party affiliation is, EVERYONE will be affected. Obviously, we literally cannot afford to be left at the starting gate. The enemies of organized labor are counting on you not paying attention. We have to act now because the attacks are happening now! At the International Union we know that our members will fight the good fight, and you can rest assured we will be there with you every step of the way. In Solidarity,

Bob Baker

This is an all out assault on organized labor in both countries and, indeed, all over Europe, and if they win we will lose everything. Our local officers are well aware of these terrible tactics and are working diligently to fight off these vicious attacks, but they cannot do it alone.

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OSCAR OWENS, INTERNATIONAL SECRETARY-TREASURER

Civilization in the Balance

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he U.S. Census Bureau reported in September that the number of Americans living below the poverty line last year increased to its highest level in over 10 years. Fully one-in-six U.S. citizens now don’t earn enough to take care of their basic needs. It will come as no surprise that many of the nation’s poor are the newly unemployed who have fallen out of the middle class, but many underpaid and underemployed people can be counted among the poor as well. Many work part time because that’s the only work they can find. Others work fulltime, and still others work two or more jobs just to get by. On average, the working poor work longer and harder than the middle and upper classes, but see very little improvement in their lives. They scratch out a meager existence, struggling daily to find food, a couch to crash on, or a clinic for healthcare.

Invisible They are largely invisible to us, yet their discount labor makes it possible for us to afford many things we take for granted. They subsidize our restaurant meals, nursing home care, even interstate bus trips, and more. Those of us who have good jobs would like to pretend this has no effect on us. But we know that’s not true. Every time an employer pays someone less than what’s fair it exerts just a bit more downward pressure on the wages we earn. Every time someone is worked to the limits of human endurance without benefit of healthcare, it becomes that much more likely that we’ll work longer hours and have less healthcare ourselves.

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Every time human dignity is compromised we are all just that much more demeaned. If civilizations are judged by how they treat the most vulnerable members of society, then it is not an exaggeration to say that Americans stand at a crossroads in the history of the republic. History will be the judge.


ATU JOINS THE ‘OCCUPY WALL STREET,’ HANLEY URGES MEMBERS TO JOIN LOCAL ‘OCCUPY’ PROTESTS

99% STRONG

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new progressive grassroots movement, “Occupy Wall Street,” protesting the plundering of our economies by the richest one percent of their citizens, has been gaining momentum and headlines across the continent. International President Larry Hanley joined thousands of mostly young protesters at a massive rally in New York City, October 5, where Occupy Wall Street took root. National Greyhound Local President Bruce Hamilton, 1700; Local President Angelo Tanzi, 726-Staten Island, NY; Local President Michael Cordiello, 1181-New York, NY; and many other ATU members also participated in the protest which brought together a diverse crowd demanding that the richest one percent stop robbing the wealth of the dwindling middle class. ATU was among the earliest national unions to endorse the Occupy movement. This issue of the growing gap between the rich and the poor and the importance of building coalitions to win this fight have been the cornerstone of ATU’s trainings this year. As the Occupy movement continues to ramp up, ATU locals in the U.S. and Canada will participate in similar Occupy activities across their countries. International

President Hanley is urging all ATU members to support and join any Occupy protests in their area.

The ‘Occupation’ of Wall Street In a live interview on MSNBC’s “Ed Show” during the October 5 Wall Street protest, Hanley asserted, “…I think that [young people have] come here and they’ve stood up, and that they’re ready to sacrifice and be out here tells us that they know just how deep the problems are in America and they understand that the rich have made it happen.” In the same interview, when asked what union involvement would mean to the Occupy movement, Hamilton countered, “…unions have always been in the fight. And we’re extremely happy to see that young people and others have come together and started this action….”

‘Our Members Are Suffering’ Hanley summed up the feelings of many in the Union, explaining, “Our members are suffering all over the U.S.

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and Canada because the jobs they have are being stripped away. Their wages are being cut; their pensions are being taken away. Our members are struggling everyday and working hard, and these are their children. These are our children who are out here saying America must change. America must take care of its people.” See the entire Ed Show interview at: http://on.msnbc.com/ qYXUI9

More Occupy Protests Expected in US and Canada ATU locals as well as the International Union have been providing support to the movement through donations of food and other supplies, physically engaging in protests, and getting the message out to the public. The New York “occupation” began in late September and has spread to cities and communities across the United States. On October 6, citizens demonstrated in an “Occupy Freedom Plaza” protest at that memorial in Washington, DC. Other Occupy protests have emerged in financial districts and Federal Reserve buildings in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Portland, OR. Demonstrations are also expected in Baltimore, New Jersey and Canada. “The ATU applauds the Occupy activists across the U.S. for their courage and strength to expose the greed and corruption on Wall Street as the rest of America struggles to survive,” Hanley said.  “These young people are speaking for the vast majority of Americans who are frustrated by the bankers and brokers who have profited on the backs of hard working people. Our union has been in the trenches of this battle for many years and we will be joining forces with this movement in this important fight.”

99% The actions advocated by the U.S. protestors are many and varied, but all are rallying on behalf of the “99%” of Americans who have experienced decreases in their jobs, wages, and benefits, while the top one percent has stockpiled unprecedented wealth. Under current tax law the wealthiest Americans pay less than the middle class. President Obama proposed changing that law in his deficit reduction proposal by including the

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“Buffett Rule,” that would require wealthy citizens to pay at least the same percentage of their income in taxes as middle class citizens do. Even Republican demigod Ronald Reagan acknowledged the wealthy must pay their fair share of taxes. In a 1985 speech the former president said tax loopholes allowing a millionaire to pay lower taxes than a bus driver were “crazy.” See the video at: http://www.atu.org/media/multimedia/ video/reagan-no-loopholes-for-millionaires


HANLEY TO DOT MOTORCOACH SUMMIT:

DEREGULATION HAS COMPROMISED SAFETY “T

here is no amount of sophisticated computerbased training that will teach drivers to keep their eyes open when they have been awake 100 hours that week” warned International President Larry Hanley at the Department of Transportation’s 2011 National Motorcoach Safety Summit.

of people who drive buses in large companies who do not have healthcare and the companies know it.” Hanley’s comments added a human element to the discussion, much of which focused on better crash prevention technology and motorcoach inspections.

The summit brought together government officials, activists, experts and leaders in the field of transportation to identify the difficulties related to motorcoach safety and develop strategies to address these challenges.

Working Far Beyond Physical Limitations Hanley spoke of the consequences of a deregulated motorcoach industry, such as driver fatigue, poor vehicle condition, and medical conditions of drivers which are the top three causes of fatal accidents in the industry. Deregulation makes it cheaper to keep drivers on the road longer, resulting in “drivers working far beyond their physical limitations, putting the public’s safety at risk.” He continued, “The condition of our drivers is directly related to the fact that they do not have health coverage in many cases. You would be shocked to learn the number

New Smartphone App Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood addressed the audience and emphasized that safety is the Department of Transportation’s “number one priority.” He also unveiled a new smartphone app that allows consumers to look up the safety record of motorcoaches before booking a trip. Asking for collaboration, he urged participants to “share what you are doing, to share what you’ve learned, to pose tough questions to us and your colleagues, to listen to new ideas and to come up with some new ideas.” During the second half of the summit, attendees did just that, rolling up their sleeves and breaking into groups to discuss topics and strategies related to fatigue, enforcement, recruiting and retaining professionals, training, hours of service, and other issues that have an impact on motorcoach safety.

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ATU, COALITION TELL CONGRESS:

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ongress heard ATU’s message loud and clear: “Don’t cut federal funding for public transit.”

ATU activists and their coalition partners worked hard to deliver that message during the “Don’t XOut Public Transit National Day of Action” on September 20. While Congress did pass a six-month extension of the surface transportation authorization bill, which will authorize public transportation funding at current levels until March 2012, it’s really just kicking the can down the road. The Republicanled House of Representatives threatened to cut more than one-third of federal funding for public transportation. This would result in service cutbacks, service delays and overcrowding, as systems will be forced to reduce service, lay-off workers and forego maintenance projects and curtail critical service improvements. ATU was joined by the Transport Workers Union (TWU), the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), and other transit advocates at “Don’t X-Out Public Transit Day of Action” rallies held across the country. It was the Union’s first truly national campaign, and it attracted major media attention across the country. As a result of these demonstrations House Transportation and Infrastructure Chair John Mica, R-FL, has backed off his proposal to cut 30% of federal transportation funding. 10

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“Our members came out in force across the country,” said ATU President Larry Hanley, “These demonstrations reflected the frustration and anxiety felt by regular people facing the loss of the transportation they rely on every day. It is disingenuous for public officials to claim they are against raising taxes while they are raising transit fares all over the country. At the very same time they are cutting bus and train service.” What follows is a sampling of pictures taken at some of the events that took place nationwide:


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Members of Transport Workers Union Local 234 (TWU) show their support for Don’t X-Out Public Transit Day in Philadelphia, PA.

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Transport Workers Union Local 100 President John Samuelson addresses members and transit advocates outside of City Hall in New York, NY.

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E C EN ID O V PR Supporters of public transportation gathered at Kennedy Plaza in Providence, RI, in front of City Hall

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EL G N A LO S Both English and Spanish speaking Angelinos show their support at the “Don’t X-Out Public Transit” National Day of Action.

Cleveland Local 268 President William Nix, left, and RTA General Manager Joe Calabrese work together to paint a big red X on a bus.

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Local 308 President Bob Kelly is flanked by ATU members at the rally at Union Station in Chicago, IL.

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CDTA CEO Carm Basile takes the podium at a rally to protest federal cuts in transportation aid at CDTA headquarters in Albany, NY.

Local 726 members held their rally at the Eltingville Transit Center in Staten Island, NY.

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APTA staff in Washington, DC wear red to support Don’t X-Out Public Transit Day.

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President Obama:

Invest in Transit Tax the Rich

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ith nationwide unemployment standing at about 9% and showing no signs of falling any time soon, President Obama in September unveiled two bold initiatives to put Americans back to work and set the U.S. economy on the right path. In a major speech to the U.S. Congress, the president called for passage of The American Jobs Act (AJA), his $447 billion plan which provides $60 billion overall in transportation investments, including $9 billion for public transportation. As called for by ATU, the bill would allow 10% of transit formula funds to be used for operating assistance, permitting transit systems to spend such funds on service restoration in addition to buses and trains. The president’s proposal recognizes that transit investments are highly effective job creators. A manufacturer in Lincoln, NE, for example, builds cars for the New York City subway system. So a public transportation investment in the East creates employment in the Midwest. A study of data from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which pumped $20 billion into transportation projects, showed that money invested in

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public transit created twice as many jobs as did highway investments. Republicans on Capitol Hill have slammed the plan, calling it another stimulus bill that will not work.

Millionaires Must Pay Fair Share Just days after pushing for the AJA, the president proposed a significant deficit reduction plan which would require wealthy Americans to pay their fair share of taxes. Known as the “Buffett Rule,” it stipulates that people who make more than $1 million a year should pay at least the same percentage of taxes as middle-class Americans. ATU International President Larry Hanley joined with several other union presidents in praising the plan in an effort to push the GOP. “The president’s deficit reduction plan is the first real proposal that will bring our deficit under control and provide any benefit for working Americans and their families. This plan sets America on the road to real economic recovery,” Hanley said.


New State Legislative Homepage Unveiled ATU recently launched a state of the art U.S. state legislative tracking system that provides members with up-to-theminute access to bills and news affecting transit and school bus workers. Whether it is a privatization bill in Pennsylvania, a measure increasing penalties for assaulting transit and school bus employees in Michigan, or an effort to slash transit spending in Minnesota, you will now find it all at www.atu.org Just look under the “Action Center” tab and click on “Legislation.” There you will find all the latest information on legislation that has a direct impact on you and your family. Federal and Canadian legislation is also included.

Surface Transportation Bill Extended for Six Months In August, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives pushed for language in an aviation spending bill that would make it harder for airline workers to vote for a union. Democrats in the Senate objected to the language, and lawmakers were unable to resolve their differences before laws governing the Federal Aviation Administration expired, resulting in a shut down of transportation projects at airports across the U.S. which lasted for several days. Some feared that when public transportation laws expired September 30, the same thing would happen.

This site is the latest effort by ATU to keep you informed about important proposals – good or bad – so that local divisions and state legislative conference boards can take appropriate action with help from the international office. Management knows what is going on in your state capital, and so should you.

Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed, and the law known as SAFETEA-LU was once again extended for another six months. The bill, which provides funding for transit systems at current levels with no policy changes, runs through March 31, 2012. The federal transit program has been running on a series on short-term extensions over the past two years. The chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, John Mica, R-FL, says that he will not agree to any more extensions. Mica has backed off pushing a bill that would cut transit by 30% over the next six years but is encouraging privatization.

If you have any questions about this information, please contact the Government Affairs Department at the international headquarters.

“Now Congress must turn its attention to developing a long-term transportation authorization proposal that will create jobs and ensure Americans have access to safe, reliable public transportation, said Hanley.”

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Court Holds Palm Beach in Contempt in ATU NLRB Decision Orders penalties for refusing to comply with judgment

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ontempt for courts and the law has now become a part of many transit agencies’ collective bargaining toolkit. Transit properties are increasingly employing a delay and litigate strategy designed to wear out or bankrupt local unions trying to negotiate a new contract. The process usually starts with unreasonable delays, spurious arguments, or an outright refusal to bargain, which forces the local to file a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

November 21, 2008: The eleventh circuit enforces a NLRB judgment requiring Palm Beach Metro to negotiate with Local 1577 as the “exclusive representative” of its employees.

January 26, 2010: The NLRB petitions the court to hold Palm Beach Metro in contempt because of the property’s 25-day delay in adding its signature to a confidentiality agreement it required of the local, and its failure to provide the documents necessary for the local to knowledgeably negotiate with the agency. The court refers the case to a special master who finds the agency in civil contempt.

August 16, 2011: The court grants the NLRB’s

At some point the current agreement expires, putting members in the vulnerable position of working without a contract. Meanwhile, management is perfectly willing to be taken to court for its open defiance of the law, knowing full well that time, money, and often, public opinion is on its side. An August 16 decision by the U.S. eleventh circuit court of appeals against Palm Beach Metro Transportation in Florida provides a perfect example of how these insidious tactics are deployed:

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motion holding Palm Beach in contempt, and orders the city to comply with the court’s “November 21, 2008 judgment and not in any way, causing, inducing, encouraging, permitting or condoning through action or inaction any violation of that judgment.” Among other things the court also requires the posting and mailing of a notice of the decision to all former and current Palm Beach employees, and imposes significant fines on the agency for any violation of the court’s orders. It would seem that Local 1577 has won, yet it should be noted that this “victory” comes almost three years after the local filed its complaint with the NLRB, and that negotiations have not yet begun. What happens now bears watching. In Transit will keep you informed.


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ebbie Barnes has been driving a bus in Washington, DC for eight years and enjoys nearly every aspect of it, most particularly meeting and greeting her passengers. She picks a different route every day, driving through every neighborhood in what she describes as “a beautiful city.” The word “nearly” is used because, like many drivers, especially women, the dreaded topic of “bathroom breaks” just keeps coming up over and over again. As ATU members know full well, it is a problem that seems to be intractable, but with enlightened and compassionate management it really is not. A member of Local 689, Barnes says it’s not so bad when you have a one-hour trip with restrooms at the end of the line unless those restrooms, like one she knows about, are too filthy to even think about using. “The homeless people use it as a place to live,” she said, “And there is no one around to clean it on a regular basis.” Barnes also said there are bus lines that have rest rooms at one end of the line but not the other. Bathroom issues vary from state to state. In New York, the transit agency contracts with stores to allow drivers (represented by ATU) to use the facilities. But in some

cases, the drivers must deal with irate passengers who are not sympathetic to the needs of their bus driver and probably don’t give a second thought to the health issues associated with “holding it.” In Phoenix, the city administration locked the public restrooms that drivers once used – and even those left a lot to be desired in terms of cleanliness. “I think the bathroom break problem persists because of our natural discomfort with talking about the issue,” says International President Larry Hanley. “We need to be more aggressive in making sure that clean rest rooms and sufficient time to use them are negotiated into our contracts, and that those provisions are enforced. It’s an important health and safety issue that really should be regarded as a human right.” Recalling one of his first days of training as a driver at age 21 in New York City (Brooklyn), Hanley says bathroom breaks has been a long standing problem in the industry. “I was at the end of my route and the guy training me said pull over because he needed to use the bathroom. He proceeded to walk to the back door and relieve himself outside,” Hanley said. “I was pretty shocked, but he said ‘that’s your bathroom break’.”

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Ed Watt, the director of Safety and Health for the Transport Workers Union of America, blames management for tightening up the schedules, allegedly to save money. “There used to be enough time for a bathroom break,” Watt said, but now if you are running late (a decades-old issue in Manhattan, where buses get stuck in the middle of traffic of one million other vehicles per day) there is not enough time built in to the schedules, leaving drivers to fend for themselves with their ingenuity.” Dr. June Fisher, an associate clinical professor of medicine at the University of California (San Francisco), has studied the effects of transit work on the body and mind. Inadequate rest room time causes prostate problems, kidney failure and dehydration because drivers are afraid to drink too much liquid. “There is no doubt that there are serious health issues here,” Fisher said. “It shouldn’t be that difficult to fix,” adding that transit workers are already at high risk for cardiovascular diseases and hypertension. In addition to the stress of ensuring public safety, meeting schedules, dealing with unruly passengers or fare beaters, the weather and traffic congestion, worrying about where and when you will be able to relieve yourself adds to the stress. There are those who accept the health risks simply as the price drivers and their families pay in their line of work, but it is a huge price, indeed.

One model for civilized breaks can be found on the subways in New York. Some transit workers have keys to bathrooms at each station (bathrooms that were once open to the public for a fee of five cents). That takes care of trackwalkers, maintenance workers and token booth clerks, but it leaves out the engineer and conductor, some of whom can be in the train for up to 90 minutes. One subway conductor, when asked about how he deals with the problem, just smiled and said, “Use your imagination. They give us break time in the schedule but it means nothing if your train is late for a lot of reasons beyond your control.” As ATU grievance officers know, just because a clause (bathroom breaks or otherwise) is in the contract, doesn’t mean the employer will adhere to it. The point is that transit employees should not have to resort to using their imaginations to deal with an issue that costs them their good health. And the insurance costs resulting from insufficient bathroom breaks will ultimately cost transit agencies far more than simply providing operators the time any human being needs for this. The time has come to address the issue more aggressively. Local 192-Oakland, CA, won an important victory in September on the bathroom break issue. See article on page 29.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Attacks Bathroom Breaks

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hicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his new Chicago Transit Authority head Forrest Claypool are taking aim at bathroom breaks in the Windy City claiming 20 minutes is too much time for bus drivers and other CTA workers to use the bathroom. If Emanuel and Claypool would leave their “ivory tower” to see what a real station looks like they would learn that over 50% of the stations don’t have working bathrooms.

“This is a blatant violation of state wage and hour laws,” said Local 308 President Robert Kelly. “Emanuel and Claypool do not want to treat his workers as human beings who need a bathroom break of a few minutes per day, and apparently think it is fair to dock an employee’s pay for going to the bathroom.” “I find it incredible that Rahm Emanuel, who personally made $18 million in two years trading his influence in the industry that has brought our nation to financial collapse is now saying that people who work on the tracks and in buses and subways should not be allowed to go the bathroom,” said International President Larry Hanley. “Does Rahm take himself off the clock when he uses the urinal — or is he just using bus drivers and train workers as urinals?”

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Canadian Agenda Violence Against Transit Employees – Only Zero Tolerance Will Do by Michael Roschlau, President and CEO, Canadian Urban Transit Association

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rising appearance of assaults against transit employees has been an industry issue for some time. The need to do more to protect our employees is apparent to all involved in the public transit industry – management and union alike. The severity of some of the incidents has resulted in significant public and political attention, with a letterwriting campaign to the Federal Minister of Justice and the introduction of a Conservative Private Members Bill in the House of Commons calling for changes to the Criminal Code with more appropriate protection for transit employees.

Aggravating Circumstances The Bill proposes an amendment to the Criminal Code requiring that, “if a person is convicted of an offence under this section, the court imposing the sentence on the person shall consider as an aggravating circumstance the fact that the victim of the offence is a public transit operator engaged in the performance of their duty at the time the offence was committed.” CUTA supports this initiative and urges its transit system members to encourage their local councils to advocate with Members of Parliament in support of this action, and is committed to work in concert with the Amalgamated Transit Union in developing a strategic approach to this issue. CUTA is also committed to supporting its members with training that equips employees with skills to handle difficult situations and defuse potentially dangerous situations, as part of its Transit Ambassador initiative. Indeed, it is

critical that each customer encounter be approached with the interests of the passenger in mind, but also without endangering the transit employee.

Front Line Employees Have Challenging Task Public transit’s front line employees have a challenging task. They operate heavy vehicles in difficult traffic conditions, they are responsible for collecting fares, maintaining a schedule and working as a team to ensure the entire system functions smoothly. They face unpredictable weather conditions, work in safety sensitive positions and have full responsibility for the safety of their passengers. Statistics collected over the past four years suggest that, from 2007 to 2010, an average of about 1,800 incidents of assaults on transit employees per year were reported from responding systems. Of these, 23 were incidents of aggravated assault, which involves grievous harm to the victim usually requiring hospitalization, and over 10 percent of incidents involved weapons, robbery, caused bodily harm or were sexual in nature. Furthermore, based on anecdotal evidence and previous analysis, it is likely that many incidents go unreported. Some will say that these numbers are insignificant. Not to the individuals who have been assaulted and not to their friends and families. In this context, there is no acceptable level of violence against transit employees and all reasonable measures must be pursued to protect our staff.

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DC Members Picket Paratransit Provider Local protests MV Transportation’s dangerous, new 13-hour schedule

seats inside. The federal law applies to the area’s paratransit vehicles which cross states lines.

Circumventing the Rules

Protesting, among other things, a decision endangering the lives of their elderly and disabled passengers, members of Local 1764-Washington, DC, picketed MV Transportation – the company that manages Metro Access paratransit service in the Washington area – on August 29. The protest took place in front of Metro Access headquarters in Hyattsville, MD.

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he lives of ATU paratransit drivers and their passengers are at risk in the United States and Canada due to the increase in the number of hours those operators are being required to work. ATU paratransit operators in the Washington metropolitan area are fighting back. On August 29, members of Local 1764-Washington, DC, picketed outside the headquarters of Metro Access – the area’s paratransit provider – protesting a decision by MV Transportation (Metro Access’ private management contractor) to put a new schedule into place that will force drivers to work 13 hours per day. Federal law limits the number of hours that commercial vehicle operators may drive in a given time period, and the rules apply to vehicles based on weight and the number of

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In an effort to circumvent the hours of service rules – which were designed to address driver fatigue – MV acquired more than 100 new vehicles with less than eight seats and recently pulled seats out of 13 vans. MV’s public explanation that the seats were removed in order to accommodate customers who use larger wheelchairs is simply ridiculous as such action was taken on the heels of Local 1764 informing the company that its plan to go to a 13-hour day was a violation of federal law. Since then, more than a dozen drivers have said they usually work 16 and even 24 hour shifts, depriving themselves of sleep. In some cases, drivers have said they’re so fatigued and sick they need to go home,” says Local 1764 President Wayne Baker. “But if they leave early they’ll incur points against their records. It’s a no-win situation.” “This is a growing problem impacting the safety and security of the country,” asserts International President Larry Hanley. “Paratransit riders deserve at least the peace of mind of not having to worry that their driver might fall asleep at the wheel.”


Failing to Invest in Transportation Will Cause Job Losses, Shrink Household Incomes

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nother reason why we need to invest in mass transit: The nation’s deteriorating surface transportation infrastructure will cost the American economy more than 876,000 jobs, and suppress the growth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product by $897 billion by 2020, according to a new report released by the American Society of Civil Engineers: http://www.asce.org/economicstudy/ The report showed that in 2010, deficiencies in America’s roads, bridges, and transit systems cost American households and businesses roughly $130 billion, including approximately $97 billion in vehicle operating costs, $32 billion in delays in travel time, $1.2 billion in safety costs, and $590 million in environmental costs. “Clearly, failing to invest in our roads, bridges and transit systems has a dramatic negative impact on America’s economy,” said Kathy J. Caldwell, P.E., F.ASCE, president

of ASCE. “This report is a wake-up call for policymakers because it shows that investing in infrastructure contributes to creating jobs, while failing to do so hurts main street America.”

Modest investment needed The report estimates that in order to bring the nation’s surface transportation infrastructure up to tolerable levels, policymakers would need to invest approximately $1.7 trillion between now and 2020 in the nation’s highways and transit systems.  The U.S. is currently on track to spend a portion of that - $877 billion - during the same timeframe. The infrastructure funding gap equals $846 billion over nine years or $94 billion per year. 

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ATU Fighting for Labor in Michigan

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TU is on the ground in Michigan, working hard to repeal Public Act 4 – the Emergency Financial Manager Act, which was enacted March 16.

The legislation authorizes the governor to appoint “emergency managers” who have sweeping powers to take over a municipal government and, among other things, dismiss elected city and town councils, break contracts, eliminate collective bargaining, and close vital public services without so much as a public hearing. The ATU was part of Michigan labor’s united effort which gathered enough petition signatures to temporarily suspend the law until a referendum is held in November 2012.

Meeting with the International President In June, International President Larry Hanley met with Michigan’s eight local presidents to talk about the statewide battle against the legislation. The Union subsequently sent representatives to educate members about the petition campaign. Over the past few months, our locals in Michigan have organized and attended numerous events around the state, including community canvasses, and volunteer days to verify petition signatures.

Helping ATU Locals Harness the Power of the Internet for FREE ATU is launching a new service, TransitWeb, to set up a free state-of-the-art website for local unions. This new innovative program includes: EASE OF USE User-friendly rich features, varied design template options, and ease of use for updates and changes. FRESH CONTENT Easily update your website with fresh content, photos and even videos. SUPPORT Free training to learn how to easily update and maintain your website. NO COST TransitWeb is a FREE program for all local unions, the full cost is covered by ATU International. FLEXIBILITY TransitWeb has been developed for ATU local unions. We’ll help you make your website fit your needs. To get your website up and running today contact: communications@atu.org.

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Turning Up the Heat on Veolia in Pensacola and Phoenix

ATU members and Veolia Transportation Services continue to clash as the ATU launches a nationwide campaign to expose Veolia’s unjust employment practices across the country.

Pensacola Stages One Day Strike In Pensacola, FL, ATU Local 1395 members staged a oneday strike accusing Veolia of mistreatment of employees. The 70 bus drivers resumed their routes after a tentative back to work agreement was approved. Negotiations resumed, but President Mike Lowery is not optimistic a deal can be reached quickly.

Phoenix ATU Local 1433, ‘Veolia Not Interested in Our Proposal’ Phoenix, AZ bus drivers have also been victims of Veolia’s exploitation. In late August members overwhelmingly rejected Veolia Transportation Service’s “best and final” contract offer. The two sides went back to the table in

September, but the management said it intended to impose the rejected contract on its employees. “A strike appears to be inevitable,” said Local 1433 President Bob Bean. “For the entire year the union has been trying to avoid a strike, but Veolia’s actions seem to be pushing for a strike.” There seems to be little desire on the part of Veolia to resolve issues concerning wages and benefits, health insurance or sick leave. Meanwhile, the salary of Veolia’s general manager in Phoenix was recently increased from $134,000 to $180,000. He also gets a $15,000 bonus, a free apartment, and plane tickets every other weekend to fly home to Las Vegas. The local has filed numerous charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for bad faith and regressive bargaining. The NLRB agreed with ATU and issued a complaint against Veolia. The ATU believes the new nationwide campaign will consolidate support and help strengthen the fight against Veolia and its dubious business ethics.

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‘JIM CROW’

Poll Tax Revisited AFL-CIO Speaks Out Against Voter Suppression

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alling state “voter ID” efforts moves reminiscent of the days of Jim Crow segregation and poll taxes in the South, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker says the federation is lobbying the Obama administration vigorously to battle such moves. And it also plans to educate its members, other workers and the wider electorate in how to overcome efforts to suppress the right to vote, she adds. “We’re making everyone among our allies aware so these Jim Crow tactics and this modern poll tax will not deter people from voting,” Holt Baker declares.  And the fed is constantly reminding the Obama administration’s Justice Department of the disparate impact of the states’ anti-voter moves on minorities, students, women and the disabled.

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Efforts to adopt restrictive voting legislation have been part of a coordinated partisan campaign across the country to attack democracy. The proponents of voter ID and other restrictive legislation, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the conservative organization linked to corporate and right-wing donors including the billionaire Koch brothers, also have introduced companion legislation that attacks the rights of workers and collective bargaining. “They’re going after the communities that support the progressive agenda,” Holt Baker said of the Koch brothers, ALEC and other players in the Radical Right cabal.  “They can’t rule unless they ruin.” 


1 IN 6 AMERICANS REPORTED

BELOW 2010 POVERTY LINE IN

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edian household income in the U.S. – the point where half of all households are above it and half below – dropped by $1,154 from 2009 to 2010, to $49,445, the Census Bureau reported. Some 2.6 million more people slid into poverty last year.  Poverty now includes 15% of households and 46.2 million people.

seeing productivity growth, technological innovation and rapid global economic integration,” Hanley said.

The gloomy figures are not just the result of the Great Recession, according to ATU President Larry Hanley. He pointed out real median income last year is lower than it was in 1997, and said that shows the GOP experiment with Right Wing policies that favor the wealthy has failed the country.

“As economic inequality widens and corporate CEO pay continues to skyrocket we have become a nation of two classes – the small cadre of the super rich and the rest of us, bus

Hanley pointed out that Americans have been told that if taxes were lowered on the rich and rules and regulations were dismantled more and better jobs would be created.

drivers, restaurant workers, telecom workers, firefighters, working families who have been victims of and taken the blame for this recession”

More without Health Care The data show increasing strain on workers and families as the recession hit. The number of people without privately paid health insurance rose by 919,000, to 49.4 million, and one of every six people does not have health care coverage. 

What’s just as bad, he warned, is that the Republican presidential hopefuls showed in their debates so far that they want to return to that same policy pattern.

Unprecedented Stagnation “Our members and families across this nation are no better off than they were 14 years ago. This is an unprecedented stagnation, all at a time when we are

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WASHINGTON, DC

METRO DIVAS PERFORM AT KENNEDY CENTER A

packed house recently crowded the Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center to watch Local 689 members perform a broad selection of rhythm and blues, in Washington, DC. Monic Morgan, Angela Gordon, Marilyn Ashford-Brown, and Barbara Green rocked the house to the immense enjoyment of their local fans. The “Metro Divas,” as they are called, are a musical act formed by MetroArts, the agency’s Art in Transit program. They were backed by the “Mass Transit Band,” a group of Local 689 performers who work for the transit authority. The performance was a welcome respite for Local 689 members who have endured an unusually high number of deadly accidents of brothers and sisters on the job over the last several years. If the enthusiastic response the Metro Divas received is any indication, DC will be seeing a lot more of these four ladies in the future.

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The Amalgamated Transit Union 2011-2012 Scholarship Competition In Memory of Gary Mauer

jJ International Representative Gary Maurer passed away on June 1, 2010. Gary never sat out a fight. He fought throughout his adult life against injustices everywhere. Maurer, a product of a Jewish family in the Bronx, spent much of his life in the South. Married to an African-American woman, he moved to Lafayette, LA, he said, “when every gas station in Louisiana had three bathrooms.” Whether it was fighting against racism in the bus terminals or for workers to have a union, Gary prided himself on the fact that, “I never sold out a member.” He was a down-toearth, courageous organizer. Unafraid of rotten bosses, he was known for his ability to always find a way around obstacles thrown up by employers trying to fight the union. He helped negotiate the toughest contracts. When Gary passed away in June 2010, his local, Local 1700, said of him: “Gary was known for his high-spirited, in-your-face style of organizing. Over the years, he earned the hatred of many bosses and won the gratitude of workers across North America. He proved that rank and file union members can make an enormous contribution to the cause of working people.” In a time like this, the ATU could sure use more like Gary. We hope the recipients of this year’s scholarships, named in his honor, will use them in part to study union and community organizing, and grow to fight injustices everywhere. This year, the program will consist of five scholarships each in the amount of $5,000. In addition, a $2,000 scholarship may be awarded to a vocational school applicant. The online application can be found at www.atu.org.

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Six Outstanding Students Awarded 2010-2011 ATU Scholarships ELLEN DING Ellen Ding, daughter of Hai Ding, 113-Toronto, ON, graduated seventh in her class from Bur Oak Secondary School in Markham, ON. She plans to study Political Science and to have a career as a History teacher and member of a “socially active union.” Her activities in high school included service vice-chair of the Markham Youth Council, an organization that provides shelter for abused women and children. She found that she was “enthusiastic and optimistic about building the lives of damaged victims while empowering them to live life violence-free.

ERIN GRACEFFA Erin Graceffa, the daughter of Anthony Graceffa, 589-Boston, MA, graduated with honors from Pembroke High School in Penbroke, MA, with a 4.45 GPA. A first generation American, Erin is planning a career in Engineering, which she says will allow her to further her “interest in science while leaving a positive impact on society.” Her favorite activity involved her work with the organization, Best Buddies, “a program which brings together people with and without disabilities” which she calls her “most rewarding experience during high school.”

LISA MASSARONI Lisa Massaroni, the daughter of Diane Massaroni, 1547-Brockton, MA, graduated with a 4.94 GPA from Brockton High School, and plans to study Biomedical Engineering to prepare for a career as a research scientist. In the summer of 2010, Lisa performed a six-week internship at the Broad Institute, a biomedical research lab in Cambridge. “I’ve come to love the side of science that involves research,” she says, “particularly in the medical field. I hope to someday be able to use my love for science to do work that will benefit mankind.”

JEREMY CORKUM Jeremy Corkum, the son of Daniel Williams, 508-Halifax, NS, is a graduate of Eastern Shore District High School in Musuodoboit, NS, and is studying to become an auto technician. Jeremy would like to focus on specializing in a specific type of vehicle and/or specialize in a certain component of the vehicle (i.e: transmission, heavy equipment…) To achieve this goal, I realize it will be necessary for me to continuously upgrade my skills and knowledge to be successful in competing in an era of ever-changing technology.”

KAMIL KUFLEWSKI Kamil Kuflewski, the son of Mariusz Kuflewski, 726-Staten Island, NY, graduated from Monsignor Farrell High School in Staten Island with a GPA of 103%, and plans to study Chemistry with an eye toward a career in healthcare. Kamil was also a member of the Muscular Dystropy Association, and the National Honor Society. His most rewarding activity, however, was his service as a volunteer at Lutheran Medical Center where he “had the opportunity to observe how pathologists work and learn a thing or two about human anatomy.”

KIM MATTHEW Kim Matthew, the son of Ko Hong Kim, 1056-Flushing, NY, graduated in the top 10% of his class from Stuyvesant High School in New York, NY. He plans a career teaching History. Kim scored a perfect 800 on both the math and reading portions of his SAT. Kim particularly enjoyed his advanced placement U.S. history course. Kim performs with his church band, and volunteers on its “servant group.” The honor student has also served as a missionary in Haiti, bringing food and water to children along with the church’s spiritual message.

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¡Ocupe usted también! Los conductores de autobuses, mecánicos, operadores de trenes y trabajadores de las vías de nuestros dos países han estado bajo sitio durante los últimos años. Ha sido una lucha por más tiempo, pero a medida que la economía declinaba, los trabajadores se convirtieron en el blanco. En septiembre, reflexionamos sobre el décimo aniversario de la muerte de 3.000 personas en mi ciudad natal. Yo era el presidente del Local 726-Staten Island, NY, en 2001, y mis miembros tuvieron que abandonar los autobuses en el World Trade Center tras el ataque. Los miembros de los sindicatos locales de nuestra Nueva York evacuaron con valentía a los niños en edad escolar y a los adultos. Los miembros de TWU detuvieron a los trenes en la estación de Cortlandt Street bajo las torres para evacuar a las víctimas, incluso mientras los edificios caían sobre ellos. Algunos de mis amigos dieron su vida para salvar a neoyorquinos ese día. Entre ellos estaba el bombero Mike Boyle, hijo del presidente de la Unión de Bomberos Jimmy Boyle. Ambos eran mis amigos. Mike tenía 37 años cuando murió en la Torre 1. Estaba fuera de servicio cuando la alarma sonó, pero se dirigió a Manhattan justo a tiempo para dar su vida haciendo la tarea de un trabajador del sector público.

¿Quién podría haberlo sabido? ¿Quién podría haber imaginado que en el décimo aniversario de sus muertes, estaríamos en batallas agotadoras en todos los EE.UU. y Canadá con políticos sin agallas que han convertido a los Bomberos, Policías, Maestros y Conductores de autobuses en enemigos del pueblo? ¡Pero lo han hecho! Y a partir de este septiembre los estadounidenses jóvenes, acompañados por adultos jóvenes de todo el mundo comenzaron a acampar a una cuadra de la Zona Cero para decirles a los banqueros y los corredores de bolsa que la gente real - el 99% - puede ver a través del espeso humo político creado por ellos - el 1%.

Principios básicos de la capacitación ATU 2011 Durante el 2011 la ATU ha estado dando clases a nuestros líderes sindicales locales como primera medida, explicando la creciente brecha entre ricos y pobres. En segundo lugar, hemos hecho hincapié en que no podemos resolver los problemas que enfrentamos sin coaliciones amplias. Desde 1973 los trabajadores promedio de los EE.UU. no han recibido ningún aumento salarial real (después de la inflación). En ese tiempo se ha disparado la remuneración para los directores generales y de otros en los puestos superiores. Las pensiones de los trabajadores han sido arrasadas por ​​ corporaciones codiciosas. Greyhound es sólo un ejemplo. Y hemos contado esa historia bien en nuestros entrenamientos, especialmente el hecho de que el 1% más rico controla más riqueza y paga menos impuestos que nunca.

¿Quién causó la recesión? Lo que verdaderamente importa sobre el movimiento Ocupar Wall Street es que los jóvenes comprenden claramente quién causó esta recesión y que no fuimos nosotros. Los numerosos conflictos en que se encuentran ustedes como miembros no serán resueltos por completo en ninguna mesa de negociación. Detrás de cada negociación difícil hoy en día se encuentran los banqueros y los manipuladores financieros que han arruinado la economía mundial y diezmaron a la clase media. Ellos quieren que paguemos por su juego en Wall Street con salarios más bajos, menos pensiones y menos atención médica. La generación que ahora cumple la mayoría de edad, nuestros niños, han sido privados de su futuro. Esto debe ser revertido y los jóvenes que están ocupando Wall Street hoy y en todas partes comprenden por qué. Junto a ellos debemos averiguar - ¿cómo? Insto a todos los miembros a participar y encontrar un evento Ocupar en su área en http://www.meetup.com/occupytogether/. Vamos a ocuparnos de Ocupar.

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Esté preparado – Que no lo dejen en la puerta de partida Mientras estoy sentado en mi oficina y miro todas las solicitudes de asistencia de los sindicatos locales de ATU en tantos estados y provincias, es muy claro para mí que no podemos darnos el lujo de no estar preparados para lo que se nos avecina en los Estados Unidos y Canadá. Nos enfrentamos a los enemigos más brutales que he visto en toda mi carrera como dirigente sindical. Se aproximan unas elecciones cruciales en la provincia de Ontario. En Toronto y en otras áreas ahora estamos en la mira como «servicios esenciales», que es la forma de un político de destruir nuestros derechos de negociación colectiva mediante la eliminación de nuestro derecho a la huelga.

“Siéntase contento de tener un empleo” Ellos harán que el campo de juego esté tan desparejo que vamos a estar constantemente luchando una batalla cuesta arriba, tratando de aferrarnos a todo eso por lo que hemos trabajado durante toda nuestra vida. La gerencia será liberada de la obligación de negociar con sus empleados, exigirá nuevas normas y legislará nuevas leyes, y le dirá a nuestros miembros, «Siéntase contento de tener un empleo.» En los Estados Unidos y Ohio, especialmente en estos momentos, el gobernador ha aprobado una legislación en la mitad de la noche, mediante el uso de tácticas astutas y casi ilegales para quitarle los derechos de negociación colectiva a todos los empleados públicos. Todos los sindicatos se reunieron y juntaron más de 1.4 millones de firmas procedentes de 44 condados en Ohio para detener la ley y poner la medida en la balota de noviembre. Ahora tenemos que derrotar a la ley para mantener nuestros derechos de negociación colectiva en Ohio. Esto es un asalto total a la mano de obra organizada en ambos países y, de hecho, en toda Europa, y si ganan vamos a perder todo. Nuestros funcionarios locales están muy conscientes de estas tácticas terribles y están trabajando diligentemente para luchar contra estos ataques violentos, pero no pueden hacerlo solos.

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¡Que no te dejen en la puerta de partida! ¡Esto le concierne a USTED y a su familia! Sus funcionarios necesitan de usted, de su familia y de sus amigos para hacer todo lo que pueda. Haga llamadas, reparta folletos, visite los sitios de trabajo, hable con los vecinos y pasajeros sobre el apoyo a las familias trabajadoras, simplemente porque es lo que hay que hacer. No se trata de cuestiones políticas, si usted pierde su derecho a la negociación colectiva - demócratas, republicanos e independientes perderán sus derechos de negociación en los Estados Unidos. Los conservadores, los nuevos demócratas y liberales perderán todos sus derechos en Canadá. No importa cuál sea su tendencia política ¡TODOS se verán afectados! Desde luego que literalmente no podemos permitirnos el lujo de quedarnos en la puerta de partida. Los enemigos de los sindicatos confían en que no estemos prestando atención. ¡Tenemos que actuar ahora, porque los ataques se están produciendo ahora! En la Unión Internacional sabemos que nuestros miembros darán una buena batalla, y puede estar seguro de que vamos a estar allí con usted en cada paso del camino. En solidaridad, Bob Baker

Civilización en la balanza La Oficina de Censos de los EE.UU informó en septiembre que el número de estadounidenses que vive por debajo de la línea de la pobreza, el año pasado aumentó a su nivel más alto en más de 10 años. Uno de cada seis ciudadanos de los EE.UU. ahora no gana lo suficiente como para cuidar de sus necesidades básicas. No es ninguna sorpresa que muchos de los pobres del país


Arbitrator Rules in Favor of Oakland Local in Bathroom Break Dispute

son los nuevos desempleados que han quedado fuera de la clase media, pero muchas personas insuficientemente remuneradas y con empleos deficientes se pueden contar entre los pobres también. Muchas trabajan a tiempo parcial porque es el único trabajo que pueden encontrar. Otras trabajan a tiempo completo, y otras tienen dos o más empleos sólo para sobrevivir. En promedio, los trabajadores pobres trabajan más y más duramente que las clases medias y altas, pero ven muy pocas mejoras en sus vidas. Tienen una existencia precaria, y luchan a diario para encontrar comida, una cama en donde dormir o una clínica para la atención sanitaria.

Bathroom breaks became a major issue for Local 192-Oakland, CA, last year. Given the tight schedules that AC (Alameda County) Transit had forced on them, the drivers did not have sufficient time to use sanitary facilities, and when they got to them, the facilities were far from sanitary.

Invisible Son generalmente invisibles para nosotros, sin embargo, los descuentos de sus empleos hacen que para nosotros sea posible comprar muchas cosas que damos por sentado. Subvencionan nuestras comidas de restaurantes, atención domiciliaria de enfermería, los viajes en autobuses interestatales y mucho más.

Drivers also said that even though time is built into the contract for rest breaks, there is not enough time to take them because, as anyone who has driven a bus through a metropolitan area knows, buses are often unavoidably late.

Los que tenemos buenos trabajos nos encantaría fingir que esto no tiene ningún efecto sobre nosotros. Pero sabemos que no es cierto.

The local had to resort to the grievance route because management was in violation of a key part of the contract, which stated that proper rest breaks were “essential to the health and safety of transit workers and essential to good service.” The contract also called for the agency to provide “suitable sanitary facilities” for the drivers.

Cada vez que un empleador paga a otra persona menos de lo que es justo ejerce un poco más de presión descendente sobre los salarios que ganamos. Cada vez que alguien es obligado a trabajar hasta los límites de la resistencia humana sin beneficios de atención sanitaria, se vuelve mucho más probable que nosotros trabajemos más horas y tengamos menos atención sanitaria.

On September 15, 2010, an arbitrator ruled in the local’s favor. But as union members know, bosses often seem to have no concept of what is “suitable” or “sanitary.” And so, as of July, the local and AC Transit were still talking about the condition of some of the bathrooms..

Cada vez que se ve comprometida la dignidad humana todos somos degradados en igual medida. Si las civilizaciones son juzgadas por la manera en que tratan a los miembros más vulnerables de la sociedad, entonces no es una exageración decir que los estadounidenses se encuentran en una encrucijada en la historia de la república. La historia será el juez.

IN TRANSIT

| September/October 2011

29


In Memoriam Death Benefits Awarded July 1, 2011 - August 31, 2011 1- MEMBERS AT LARGE WILLIAM G BALLARD ALBERTA ELERY INEZ HANCOCK ELMER D HOLMES MARVIN C MC LEOD JOE LEE MOORE OLLIE PATTERSON JOHN C SHELBY HOMER G WHITE

LOUIS WILSON

26- DETROIT, MI HAROLD W JOHNSON ROBERT D MILLER SHERMAN L THOMAS

279- OTTAWA, ON GASTON LARCHER

85- PITTSBURGH, PA JAMES L CONBOY CHARLES CRIVARO DALE DABNEY ALFRED R DOWNS ALBERT S FITZ ELLIS W FOSTER ROBERT P GOTTSCHALK EUGENE MILLER WILLIAM J OLARE II RONALD F PASCOE BERNARD JAY RIGGS STEPHEN C SUKALA 107- HAMILTON, ON RAM S BASANTI MELVIN A FOREMAN 113- TORONTO, ON DAVID ALVAREZ DEL CASTILLO FRED CHADWICK GUY GORDON INGRAM CLEMENTE IZZI DONALD H WILLIAM JOY DEAN MARR WILSON ROSENBERG ALAN SCHWARTZ JOHN S SVISTUNOS JACK WILLIAM TRAVIS FERDINANDO ZAMBITO 192- OAKLAND, CA JACKIE ELDRID ANTHONY JOHN T RICHARD 241- CHICAGO, IL ALFREDO E BARRIOS DAVID R BENSON DOROTHY Y BOBO RUDY E BOFFRO HAROLD BROWN OTIS L BROWN BOBBYE BYRD LESLIE L CLEMONS BOOKER T HENRY DENNIS C KOSTECKI JOSEPH KOVATZ FLIM W MOORE JEFF MOORE JOHNNY L MOORE STEPHEN J MURRAY DOROTHY V NYCZAK TIMOTHY F O’ROURKE GWENDOLYN P POOLE CELIA RINCONES ARTHUR L SMITH JUANITA SOTO RILEY J TUBBS WILLIE L WHITFIELD MICHELLE R WILLIAMS

30

265- SAN JOSE, CA DONALD C MOFFATT JOHN M PORROVECCHIO ALEX RODRIGUEZ 276- STOCKTON, CA EDWARD C BEARD FRANK REYES JR

281- NEW HAVEN, CT GORDAN MADORE ANDREW A MELILLO 308- CHICAGO, IL HOWARD AKINES DAVID O ALLEN PATRICIA A BARRETT-BROWN HOWARD L BRAMHAM VERNON L NELSON CECILE DOROTHY THOMAS ROBERT W WILSON 425- HARTFORD, CT ELIZABETH CAMIRE ADELARD LESSARD 558- SHREVEPORT, LA CHARLES EDWARD KEMPER CORRINE WILLIAMS LLOYD CLARENCE E THOMAS 568- ERIE, PA HAROLD J EICKLEY 569- EDMONTON, AB BRYAN W CHIBA MIKE GEORGE DRONYK JOSEPH J MANZEVICH FLOYD C STELTER 580- SYRACUSE, NY CHARLES D PAGE ISIAH WILLIS 587- SEATTLE, WA ALAN S BAKER ERROL C BOWSER RONALD C BRIGGS THOMAS CECIL DARLENE M COLLYER DAVID R GRONLUND RAY ROBERTS NEDDY K SATARAKA JAMES B STEVENSON 588- REGINA, SK WILFRED LANG MICHAEL C THOM 589- BOSTON, MA ALFRED R CIOVACCO TIMOTHY M COFFEY KELFORD COUNCIL JR ROBERT E DONNELLY DAVID M HEGER MICHAEL A JOSEPH ALBERT LAPORTA SIDNEY E MOONEY FRANCIS L MURPHY DANIEL J SULLIVAN

591- HULL, PQ GILLES FORTIN 618- PROVIDENCE, RI JOHN A CORSI SR JOHN MOURA 627- CINCINNATI, OH ROBERT P BOCK 639- LEXINGTON, KY THOMAS WOODRUM 689- WASHINGTON, DC EARLY P BALTIMORE THOMAS E BIRKHIMER IRA H GARDNER LAWAULDRE INGRAM STEVEN Y KIM WILLIAM W MC INTOSH JOHN A MC KINZIE JAMES W TATE KEITH H WILSON 694- SAN ANTONIO, TX ROBERT P BELTRAM JR ERNEST CLIFTON SMITH 713- MEMPHIS, TN GEORGE ERIC THORNE 726- STATEN ISLAND, NY ANGELO ANTONUCCI LEON BARBEITO ALEXANDER GULINO JAMES F KELLY JOSEPH OWENS JOSEPH TURCHIO 732- ATLANTA, GA DORIS J BURKS WALTER B CARTER WILLIAM T CHAMBERS ROOSEVELT CROXTON DWIGHT K DEANS BELINDA E DOZIER RODNEY L NEWSON TYRONNE ROCHON WILLIAM S TANKS TOMMY A VORT JR 757- PORTLAND, OR VICTOR P NEUFELDT FRED J SCHULTZ ROSE M STENCIL 758- TACOMA, WA GREGORY J KING 788- ST. LOUIS, MO NORMAN E BARTON CHARLES C BREMER BENNIE CARROLL CARL DYER JR PAUL C SAMS ADDIE M SMITH JANNIE L TATE 819- NEWARK, NJ THEODORE HIXON FRANK HOUSE 820- UNION CITY, NJ GEORGE P VESSELS 822- PATERSON, NJ

September/October 2011 | IN TRANSIT

MARY BARR

ANTHONY J SIMIELE

823- ELIZABETH, NJ ALFRED EDWARD BROWN

1300- BALTIMORE, MD CHESTERINE CAMPBELL JAMES E FORREST WALTER R MURRRAY RAYMOND PEELE LARRY D REDMOND JARVIS SMITH

824- NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ JOSEPH J BURKE JAMES H MORAN 842- WILMINGTON, DE FRANKLIN COOPER JR 846- ST. CATHARINES, ON GORD LAYTON 880- CAMDEN, NJ EVERETT BRIGGS ALFONSO BROWN JOSEPH FRANCHETTI ANNA GOFFNEY WARREN R MAKIN THEODORE J MATTA 998- MILWAUKEE, WI KENNETH L GATES 1001- DENVER, CO GUS RIVERS 1005- MINNEAPOLIS & ST. PAUL, MN ROBERT W BELLESEN GERALD A SMITH 1028- DES PLAINES, IL MICHAEL BOATNER JAMES A KLIROS 1056- FLUSHING, NY JOSEPH P ALFINITO THOMAS R BOLDEN WILLIAM DOVZAK PHILIP J FELICE HECTOR A GAMEZ WILLIAM L MASK WILLIAM R OTTING LEON E PANKEY GARFIELD STINSON CHARLES N TIMUS WILLIE L WHITE 1177- NORFOLK, VA LE ROY JAMES DANIELS MARGARETTE A HALLEY ROGER E HICKS PAUL W SMITH 1181- NEW YORK, NY ALBERT A APICELLA LINDA L BROWN EARL CHRISTIAN KARL DORCELY MICHELINE FEIG THERESA GIUSTO MARIAN MORIARTY KEITH PRESCOTT FRED RISPOLI SYLVESTER WOODARD CLIFTON M ZINNA 1225- SAN FRANCISCO, CA LYLE ARTHUR BLACK 1277- LOS ANGELES, CA AARON ARANA FREDERICK H LAWRENCE

1309- SAN DIEGO, CA LLOYD D RICHARDS 1321- ALBANY & TROY, NY PAUL A BOND WILLIAM C JONES 1324- SAVANNAH, GA NOBLE VERNON GWYN 1338- DALLAS, TX ANDREW PENDLETON 1342- BUFFALO, NY JOSEPH J PAWLIK THELMA RUTH ROCKLIN 1374- CALGARY, AB HOWARD HILDEBRAND ELDRED IRVINE 1447- LOUISVILLE, KY ROBERT V SANDS 1505- WINNIPEG, MB JOHN FEDIUK ALLAN MALAZDREWICH FRANK OZIMEK BERNARD SOKOLOWSKI GERALD W TOWNS 1535- HARAHAN, LA EDWARD J WAGUESPACK 1548- PLYMOUTH, MA ROBERT ARMSTRONG 1564- DETROIT, MI ROBERT WILSON 1572- MISSISSAUGA, ON GARY J LEBLANC 1575- SAN RAFAEL, CA BARNEY L WILLIAMSON 1576- LYNNWOOD, WA DOUGLAS A PIANTES 1587- TORONTO, ON KIRK A BLISS 1591- BROWARD COUNTY, FL JEROME DAVIS 1605- CONCORD, CA WILLIAM H WRIGHT 1625- BUFFALO, NY WILLIE MASSEY 1700- CHICAGO, IL BENJAMIN T JAY JR


25 YEARS AGO IN IN TRANSIT

Washington State Local’s Campaign Keeps Buses Rolling From the January-February 1986 Issue of In Transit:

A determined band of 14 transit workers, members of Local 587, mounted an intensive grassroots lobbying campaign to save Jefferson Transit (and their own jobs) in this rural, northwest Jefferson County, WA, by defeating a ballot proposition to eliminate the county transit system. The fact that the measure was on the ballot in the first place came as a surprise to many people. But public transit hadn’t found an entirely welcome home in one of the state’s least populated counties, much of which consists of the snow-capped peaks of the Olympic Mountains. Transit had been the target of attacks the spring before, when a petition drive to abolish the system was launched by one of the transit advisory board’s own members.

Five Weeks to Keep Transit Alive The employees of Jefferson Transit had five weeks to put together a campaign to keep transit alive. They would have to counter a well-organized and influential opposition that had already cowed many of the politicians and was adept at spreading misinformation about transit’s costs and services. Local 587’s chief shop steward in Jefferson County, Bob Foster, volunteered to coordinate the committee’s efforts and the Union pitched in with contributions. Out of a cramped second-story storefront office, Foster cranked up a grassroots campaign to educate people that voting “No” on the proposition was saying “Yes” to their transit system. Leafleting went on at shopping centers and door-to-door canvasing in the neighborhoods, while “Keep Your Transit” signs were popping up in front yards. In a last-minute push, a dozen volunteers called hundreds of their neighbors from their homes. Considered most effective in getting the message across was a series of “people” ads in the newspaper, featuring portraits of ordinary riders giving testimonials for transit. Foster and his volunteers’ efforts resulted in the proposition being rejected by a 70% to 30% vote of the county residents, saving Jefferson Transit in 1986.

IN TRANSIT

| September/October 2011

31


Amalgamated Transit Union

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ATU ACTIVISTS LEARN TO

FIGHT BACK

AT US EASTERN REGIONAL CONFERENCE

Second photo from left, International President Larry Hanley and long-time labor icon and civil rights leader Bill Lucy discuss the challenges facing labor unions with participants at the U.S. Eastern Regional Conference on August 22. Lucy was an organizer for AFSCME during the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike in April 1968. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated while lending his support to the strike.

It’s time to fight back and local officers and activists got the training they need to do just that at the Eastern (US) Regional Conference, August 21 – 25, in Orlando, FL. Conference-goers attended a broad array of union leadership and administration workshops designed to give them the tools to motivate their members and effectively manage the difficult problems that often beset local officers. International President Larry Hanley began the event Sunday evening, laying out the challenge before the ATU and the entire U.S. labor movement. Monday was devoted to a broad overview of where the labor movement stands today. On Tuesday participants focused on the power of communications. Hanley concluded the conference with a presentation on the Union’s collective bargaining agenda.

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ATU Joins the 'Occupy Wall Street,' Hanley Urges Members to Join Local 'Occupy' Protests

In Transit - September / October  

ATU Joins the 'Occupy Wall Street,' Hanley Urges Members to Join Local 'Occupy' Protests

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