Thirty-eight TTC bus drivers are back at work after walking off the job Wednesday over coronavirus safety concerns.
The walk off was prompted by the latest TTC employee to test positive for COVID-19.
ATU Local 113, the union that represents these workers, said the subway operator from the Wilson Division tested positive for COVID-19 on April 15. He last worked on April 4.
The TTC confirmed 33 bus operators from the Queensway division and five from the Wilson division had walked off the job on Wednesday over fears related to the coronavirus, but have since returned to work.
The union said TTC management isn’t doing enough to protect its workers and that the transit agency has provided an inconsistent supply of PPE to all public transit workers.
“TTC workers are on the frontlines providing a critical service for Torontonians during the coronavirus pandemic,” Santos said.
“All we’re asking for is that the TTC provide proper personal protection equipment so Toronto’s public transit heroes can do their job and get back to their families safe.”
In a statement, the TTC said the Ministry of Labour is currently reviewing the matter of the 33 Queensway division drivers and will make a determination around these actions.
However, the transit agency noted that the ministry had already looked into the actions by the Wilson division drivers and said it rules “the circumstances reported by the refusing workers do not meet the conditions” of a work refusal under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
According to the TTC, the ministry inspector further determined “the employer has measures and procedures in place for prevention of COVID-19 associated hazards.”
Among those measures are plexiglass barricades bus operators can close, the blocking off of seats immediately behind the operator, use of rear-door boarding, and a collapsible barricade all of which provide the operator with physical distancing.
As well, disposable gloves, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer are given to every operator.
Fourteen members have tested positive for the virus along with two TTC staffers.
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