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ATU Celebrates Black History Month

As a school bus driver for Waterbury, CT, Public Schools, Sonya Minnis wanted a stronger voice in the workplace for herself and her fellow school bus drivers, monitors, and mechanics. A natural leader, Minnis was instrumental in the successful organizing campaign that brought 150 school bus workers to join Local 448-Springfield, MA. As an appointed Shop Steward and bargaining team member Sister Minnis has relentlessly defended her members with passion and commitment while playing a key role in the bargaining of their first contract. A school bus driver of 29 years her dedication to the students and families of Waterbury are her true legacy. We thank Sister Minnis for her commitment to her Local, our Union, and her community. 

A Plant Service Person 2 worker at GO Transit in Toronto, ON, for 34 years,Local 1587-Toronto, ON, Brother Ayoung played a critical role in Local 1587’shistoric and successful strike to win a strong contract with key provisions tostop contracting their jobs. He was a key leader in the Local’s Contract Action Team that developed andimplemented strategic actions to pressure theemployer. Brother Ayoung also recruited othermembers to participate in petitions, button days,strike training, and other actions. “It was an honour and privilege to help organize. Union proud all daylong!” said Brother Ayoung about this work for his Local. We applaud Brother Ayoung for goingabove and beyond for his Local, his fellow members,and our Union!

A Reservationist at the MV MetroAccess Call Center for theWashington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA),Local 689-Washington, DC, Brother Brown has led his fellowbrothers and sisters in his department through thick and thin.Year after year in contract negotiations, he looked out forthe membership. By 2021, he was a key leader in the MVCall Center strike, the first one of its kind in ATU historythat led to a strong contract. Thanks to his work andleadership over the years, the MV Call Center wentfrom a churn-and-burn sweatshop to a real career forsome of the most ignored and looked down uponworkers in the paratransit industry. We thank BrotherBrown for his years of service and dedication to ourUnion, his members, and the entire labor movement.

Local 583-Calgary, AB, Brother Nathan Noel Lewis, an operator at CalgaryTransit for the past fifteen years, has worked tirelessly on groundbreakingpolitical and organizing campaigns for his Local. In 2020 as a vital memberof his Local’s Political Action Committee, he collectedhundreds of petition signatures and reached outto fellow members in a successful campaign tohelp eight pro-transit, pro-labor City Councilmembers get elected. This year Brother Lewisis serving as a Chief Steward and is a keymember of his Local’s Organizing Committee,where he works to organize new membersand bring them into our ATU family. Bravoto Brother Lewis for his commitment togrowing worker power!