Thunder Bay – NEWS – The union representing Thunder Bay Transit employees have voted for strike action. The 150 workers voted Sunday afternoon 96 per cent in favour of taking action to get wages and respect for doing their jobs.
Through the pandemic, the transit workers have continue working, and according to sources in the Transit Union they are feeling that their work is not being respected by management.
Perhaps one of the things some of the transit drivers need to do is put out the level of respect that they want to the passengers – especially the Indigenous passengers riding the service.
There are countless reports of transit drivers driving past Indigenous persons at transit stops. Or refusing their transfers when getting on the bus.
Thunder Bay Transit is a vital service for many in the city.
There are many amazing courteous and respectful transit drivers.
One of the drivers on the Mainline Route last Christmas had passengers giving him Christmas Cards and even gifts in appreciation for the service on his bus.
Yet NetNewsLedger has, in conversations with Transit Management relayed instances of passengers being left at the stops. This past summer witnessing three people waiting for the bus, on Memorial Avenue, the driver let on a person in a wheelchair, and then raised the ramp and drove off leaving three people and their bags of groceries stranded.
Such incidents are fairly common.
Getting respect and appreciation for the work is important. Giving it to the customers who make the job possible is just as important.
It likely is a small group of driver who are problems, and perhaps that is an area that the transit union should work to improve.
The next step in the contract negotiations is conciliation talks.