Amalgamated Transit Union International President Larry Hanley released the following statement to mark the 125th anniversary of the ATU.
“One hundred twenty-five years ago, today, in order to “disenthrall themselves from the slavery of long hours and burdensome toil,” 52 transit workers assembled in Indianapolis, IN, to form the Amalgamated Association of Street Railway Employees of America, now the Amalgamated Transit Union. It was the birth of the largest and most successful transit worker movement in North America – a labor union that’s still fighting for its members, and all workers today.
“ATU brought transit and allied workers out of the depths of poverty and into the mainstream of the Canadian and American middle class. But it didn’t happen without cost.
“As in other unions, ATU members suffered, and some died to secure our collective bargaining rights; to protect us from unfair treatment on the job; to provide us with living wages, overtime pay, sick days, health care, vacations, retirement, a decent work environment; and more.