The question I was asked by another member, “Whoever is elected needs to also win the battle of public opinion, are there some things we could do to help swing the momentum our way?”
The first question we have to ask ourselves is does the general public know who ATU 757 is? Do they know we are the ones who drive them, fix the vehicles, services and clean them? I feel the answer is no, we are the face of the company; right? Wrong, we are just operators/mechanics/service workers/supervisors/dispatcher/etc. who works for the company and the general public has no idea that we are in a union. Is that our fault? I believe in part, we spend so much time and effort and treasure on trying to woo political capitol and other groups that we have forgotten what made unions stronger; and that’s the general public.
The suggestion I had, concerning involvement of the general public goes like this:
1. During Labor Day we need volunteers to wear ATU shirts hats Etc. and pass out pamphlets that says "Who we Are," who we embody such as bus, rail, school bus, service workers, mechanics etc.
2. Walk up fifth and sixth Avenues handing out flyers, balloons etc. And the title of those flyers will be "Rider Appreciation Day." Our other properties will do it as well simultaneously.
3. The Flyers need to explain; who/why Amalgamated Transit Union supports Riders who support public transportation. We have very talented writers with awesome creativity; these flyers should be representative of the people in the seat, fix the seat, and pick up riders in the districts we serve.
Lastly, I believe that we should start small so that the general public gets to know us. If we do this on Labor Day it will be symbolic of efforts made by unions during the beginning of the Labor Movements in the in the 19th century. This will be an introduction of ATU 757 from as far north as Walla Walla to as far south as Bend to the western coast in Tillamook, “WE ARE ATU 757.”
Revolutions do not start big, they start small; this is the first step.
Your Brother on the front lines.