Just days after the TTC Union fired Bob Kinnear and 17 other union staff, the story behind the actions began to unfold.
According to the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113’s trustee Manny Sforza, Kinnear planned a secretive move to transfer the Local’s members to another union while he was still on the ATU’s payroll.
Emails dated February 2 were discovered by Local 113 allegedly showing Kinnear’s messages sent from his personal account, which was used to “keep this conspiracy secret,” said Sfroza.
“Kinnear’s actions were underhanded and secretive,” said Sforza. “While being paid by the union, he violated his oath of office and worked actively against the interests of our members. We condemn his actions and the equally secretive and underhanded machinations of Unifor.”
Meanwhile, Kinnear held a press conference with Unifor President Jerry Dias on February 7. In a statement by Unifor, the union offered solidarity to the TTC union.
“Unifor supports and defends the principles of democracy and democratic governance for every union and we are incredibly troubled by the aggressive tactics that the ATU international body has used against Local 113 that represents Toronto transit workers,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said. “Democracy is a cornerstone of the labour movement.”
In their statement addressing temporary trusteeship, Local 113 said that they believe in protecting the democratic rights of Canadian workers following Kinnear’s actions.
“By seeking to deliver members to another union without the consent of our democratically-elected Executive, he violated our Local By-Laws and the Constitution and General Rules of our union,” read the statement. “We believe in protecting the democratic rights of Canadian workers. We urge everyone to respect the Constitutional process now underway.”
Additionally, ATU Local 113 has been vocal on its social media pages.
On Facebook, a photo posted stating “ATU Local 113 is not for sale” was posted on February 6.
Another post directly compares Local 112 to Unifor.
At Tuesday’s press conference, Kinnear said that an application has been filed with the Canadian Labour Congress to investigate the ATU, and he has sought legal action in regards to last week’s firing.
On February 3, ATU International fired 17 union executives from their positions, 10 of which were reinstated a day later. The ATU Local 113 represents over 10,000 transit workers in Toronto.