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ATU celebrates Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Maria Claro, Local 1505-Winnipeg, MB

Sister Maria Claro joined our Local 1505-Winnipeg, MB,in January 2014 as a Winnipeg Transit Bus Operator.A single mom, Sister Claro has been an inspiration in balancing the demands of work and family. She takes pride in her job and cares about her riders, who depend on her to get to and from work, school, the doctor, the grocery store, and other important activities. With a spotless driving record, Sister Claro has received nine safety awards as a Bus Operator. Recognizing the important role her Local plays for her fellow Union members and her community, Sister Clarohas been a key member of the Local’s Transit EmployeeCommunity Fund. She also serves on the Local’s BylawsCommittee. As a proud Asian Pacific Islander, we saluteSister Claro for her commitment and dedication to her Local, her fellow Union members, her riders, her community, and our Union.

Rajvinder “Raj” Singh,Local 265-San Jose, CA

Local 265-San Jose, CA, Brother Raj Singh, a native of Punjab, India, made his way to the U.S. at the age of nine and settled in California, where he quickly acclimated. In 2008, at 21 years old, Raj began his career as a Bus Operator at the Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose. It wasn't long before his fellow Local 265 members recognized his capabilities, electing him as Shop Steward,then as Local Treasurer, Recording and Financial Secretaryfor two terms. Raj has been a rock for Local 265 during challenging times, including the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the devastating events of May 26, 2021, when a tragic shooting at the Rail Yard claimed the lives of ten Local 265 Brothers. Raj’s unwavering dedication and steadfast commitment to his Local did not go unnoticed. In 2023, the Local members acknowledged his exceptional leadership by electing him as President/Business Agent. Raj's actions, devotion, and perseverancetruly exemplify his dedication to the labor fight on behalf of Local 265 and the ATU.

Thomas Wong,Local 1181-New York, NY

Brother Thomas Wong has been a Local 1181-New York, NY, NYC Public School Bus Driver for the past 28 years.He moved from Hong Kong to the United States at the age of 9 in 1969. When he joined Local 1181 in 1996 as a School Bus Driver for students with disabilities, he was one of the first Asian members of his Local. Throughout his career, Brother Wong has been a strong advocate for our AsianNYC Public School Bus Members and helped to recruit countless Asians in his community to join our Local 1181and get involved with the Local. From contract campaignsto getting fellow members to attend Local Unionmeetings to recruiting members to attend ralliesand other actions, Brother Wong is a memberLocal 1181 can rely on. We thank Brother Wong forhis years of committed and dedicated service toour Local, our Union, and his community.

Sister Claire MinequeLocal 113-Toronto, ON

A proud Local 113-Toronto, ON, member for the past16 years, Sister Claire Mineque started out as a TTC Streetcar Operator, then a Bus Operator, and now serves as a Wicket Clerk. As an active member, Sister Mineque enjoys her role on the Steering Committee for the United to Win Campaign. She has helped engage and mobilize members in the petition action to show solidarity with the Local's Bargaining Committee even on her days off. "As a Wicket Clerk, I interact with many operators every day. I’m their first point of contact. I was able to get many signatures for the petition and promote the cause towards winning a fair contract from the TTC,” said Sister Mineque. “I believe being a friendly and familiar face helps brings a sense of support and unity to our membership. I'm very proud of the work of the United To Win Campaign Steering Committee." Volunteering has been a key part of Sister Mineque’s career. She served on the United Way Committee for TTC in 2014, won the very popular United Way TTC Idol contest in 2008, and was also part of the BST Safety Committee in Streetcars in 2012.