The head of the Amalgamated Transit Union local 113 went on the offensive Tuesday, following a series of incidents that have tarnished the image of the Toronto Transit Commission.
Public outrage was triggered after several videos surfaced, showing TTC operators sleeping on the job and taking unscheduled breaks.
At a morning news conference at the Sheraton Centre, Kinnear called for a little understanding as he told members of the public to back off.
Kinnear opened with a sarcastic apology to the media, saying there were no washrooms in the meeting room.
He had a message for riders who he accuses of harassing TTC workers.
“Stop harassing people who are doing their jobs. Stop insulting them. Stop waving your camera phones in their faces as you get on the bus or streetcar. Stop spitting on them,” Kinnear said.
He did admit some workers are not doing their jobs, but said it is only a small group.
He added no matter what your job is, you should not have to worry about being stalked when nature calls.
“To those who get some cheap thrill making a video of a driver leaving bus for a washroom break, stop it, it’s inhumane.”
“Harassing people about this by taking their pictures is an afront to human dignity and a violation of simple decency.”
The union has planned a series of townhall meetings across the city in which the rank and file will talk with the public in hopes of improving the relationship.