From an Oakland Bus Driver
Public transit workers are on the front lines and need to be valued as such. In fact, transit workers have always been on the front lines, the pandemic just proves the point.
Transit workers have always been exposed to colds, the flu, tuberculosis, you name it. We’re sitting ducks for anything and everything that gets on the bus, train, or passes us by. This has always been treated as “part of the job”. But with this extremely infectious virus, our compensation needs to reflect the danger we’re putting ourselves and our loved ones through.
According to ATU (the Amalgamated Transit Union), the largest transit union in North America, hundreds of transit workers in more than 20 states have tested positive for the virus. In our country’s epicenter of the virus, NYC, 10 transit workers have died. More fatalities have been recorded in Detroit, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, Washington D.C., Rocky Hill, and Connecticut.
Transit workers are happy to do their job and provide the essential service that they do, but it needs to be done in the safest manner as possible with full benefits and employment guaranteed! And of course, hazard work deserves hazard pay!