Coronavirus: 38 Toronto bus drivers refuse to work, cite workplace safety concerns

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The Toronto Transit Commission says 38 bus drivers refused to work on Wednesday due to workplace safety concerns amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

TTC staff issued a statement on Wednesday evening saying 33 drivers at the organization’s Queensway bus division refused to work.

The news comes hours after five drivers at Wilson bus division launched a similar action under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

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READ MORE: 6 TTC employees test positive for COVID-19, nearly 700 in self-isolation

“The [Ontario Ministry of Labour] inspector ruled ‘the circumstances reported by the refusing workers do not meet the conditions’ of a work refusal under [the Act],” the statement said.

“The ministry inspector further determined ‘the employer has measures and procedures in place for prevention of COVID-19 associated hazards.’”

Officials said the health and safety of workers is “of paramount importance.”

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The statement cited new measures taken to protect workers such as rear-door boarding, increased cleaning of buses, blocking the seats right behind the driver and a removable barricade behind where the operator sits in order to “provide the operator with physical distancing.”

1:342 public transit drivers in GTA test positive for COVID-19

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