SILVER SPRINGS, Md. (WHTM) — With the FBI warning of possible planned armed protests at capitols nationwide to oppose President-elect Joe Biden’s Inauguration the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) is demanding transit agencies have safety plans in place to prepare for violent insurrections.
ATU International President John Costa released the following statement.
Last week’s deadly insurrection of the U.S. Capitol put ATU Local 689 bus drivers and Metro workers in our nation’s capital in grave danger for their lives and safety. There is every reason to believe that our members – bus drivers, station agents, and other transit workers – across the country will be put at serious risk as these forces of sedition threaten to repeat the horrors and violence of January 6 leading up to and on inauguration day.
We demand our transit agencies work with us to develop and implement comprehensive safety plans to deal with any and all violence. Transit agencies should be ready to shut down transit service completely or curtail service. The safety of transit workers, riders, and the public must come first.
We want our members to know they have a choice and the legal right to refuse unsafe work during political violence. That includes refusing to run a route during or near armed demonstrations, riots or other forms of insurrection, and taking action such as deviating from their routes to avoid areas with developing dangers.
In the last year with the pandemic, our members have been frontline heroes providing critical transportation, risking their health and safety. We have lost more than 110 brothers and sisters to this deadly virus. This is unprecedented in ATU’s 128-year history. Now, over the next two weeks, our local unions and members must prepare for yet another danger. We must take all precautions to protect our members and the riding public.John Costa, ATU International President
Members are also reminded that they have the legal right to refuse work they consider dangerous or unsafe as they have done during the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests in the past.