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ATU Canada Locals Meet in Calgary, AB for 2023 ATU Canada Conference

The 2023 ATU Canada conference took place in September in the beautiful City of Calgary, Alberta, also known as “Cowtown” throughout Canada. This cosmopolitan city is rooted in its rugged western heritage.

ATU Canada President John Di Nino kicked off the spirited 3-day conference alongside ATU Host Local 583 President/Business Agent Mike Mahar by welcoming over 200 delegates, guests, and allies. “Welcome to all the delegates of the ATU Canada Conference. Our Union and Locals have had many hard fought victories this year despite the challenges,” said Di Nino. “Over the next few days, we will set the course for our Union and Locals for the next year.”

ATU International Executive Vice-President Yvette Trujillo and International Vice Presidents Manny Sforza, John Callahan, and Ken Wilson brought greetings to the delegation and highlighted some of the recent wins and current fights across the country.  Political friends and allies also addressed delegates, reinforcing the need for solidarity.  They also acknowledged the ATU as the transit leaders in Canada and gave praise for the ATU’s political action efforts.

ATU Canada delegates were inspired by the keynote address from Laura Walton, President of CUPE’S Ontario School Boards Council of Unions, as she skirted a Rosie the Riveter outfit. Laura recapped last year’s events in Ontario when she led 55,000 education workers on a strike that brought the provincial government to their knees and were forced to rescind anti-worker legislation and the use of the notwithstanding clause to prohibit fair collective bargaining.

Di Nino and Local 265-San Jose, CA, former President/Business Agent John Courtney engaged in a deeply personal and compassionate fireside chat during which they addressed the challenges of PTSD and mental wellness at home and in our workplaces.  The conversation was not only heartfelt but also resonated with the personal experiences of the delegates, fostering a meaningful dialogue on these critical issues.


IP Costa Fires Up Delegates

Day two of the conference opened with a fired-up delegation as ATU International President John Costa brought members to their feet in appreciation for all his and the GEB’s hard work.  “It’s an honor and privilege to be here with you today in Calgary,” Costa told delegates. “What’s clear to me is the state of our Union in Canada is strong and united thanks to the hard work of everyone in this room. I’ve seen it firsthand standing on the picket lines at the successful strike at Local 1587 to strike authorizations at numerous Locals to Local 113-Toronto, ON, winning back the right to strike.”

Costa also spoke about the ATU’s commitment to helping Locals with all the training and services the International makes available to support the needs of Local Unions in the US and Canada.  This commitment was solidified by International staff who attended the conference to deliver  presentations on Strategic Research and Collective Bargaining, Campaigns and Organizing, Workforce Development, ATU Communications, Training, and Joint Health and Safety.

The day concluded with a mid-term election to the ATU Canada board and the swearing in of Ken Hart as Executive Board member (Quebec and East) by International President Costa.

The final day of the conference was filled with reports from the Bylaw committee on proposed resolutions and bylaw changes, great discussions, and voting on all the bylaw amendments. General discussions on new and old business ensued with the conference adjournment in the early afternoon. Delegates left with a much clearer sense of the ATU and appreciation for being part of the largest transit union in Canada and the US.