Over the past year and a half, we’ve seen so many of our fellow workers stricken with this deadly virus. One hundred and forty-eight International ATU members have died from COVID or from complications of COVID. A deadly virus indeed. Only one of those, a retiree, was from Local 569. The many other members who have had the virus and survived it have told us horror stories of the virus’ symptoms.
Now, with phase three well under way and new lockdowns being imposed in Ontario, BC and other places, when we thought we’d be seeing some relief, things are worse again. Just when we thought we could loosen up some and start seeing some normal, we’re hammered again. So, maybe it’s time we double down yet again in our efforts to comply with the protocols to keep ourselves, our families and our co-workers safe.
There’s a new memo out from ETS management reinforcing their policy that operators should wear their masks, even while they are behind the wheel in the drivers’ compartment. If the operator is alone in the bus, the expectation is lifted. New evidence is available indicating that mask wearing is even more effective at stifling the spread than hand washing. To the extent that you are able to do so safely, the Union recommends that operators comply with the employer’s expectation and wear the mask. It really does make everyone safer.
Other properties and work areas – Red Deer, DATS, St. Albert – have different expectations and mandates, but it remains incumbent on all of us to keep everyone safe in every way we can.
ATU Local 569