DATS Members Ratify Deal to Amalgamate with the Main Body of ETS Workers


More than a quarter century ago, DATS drivers came together to form a union. It was said it couldn’t be done, that these were independent contractors, not employees. But, DATS operators were determined to battle their way out of what their lawyer characterized as a “job ghetto”. The Labour Relations Board was convinced that these were, in fact, real employees. It declared them employees and entitled to form a union. And so began the 27 year long struggle to achieve equity.

In a clear message to city administration, members of Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 569, DATS Unit voted today to dissolve their separate Bargaining Unit and join with the main body of City transit workers. After a quarter century long struggle to achieve equity, begun in the mid-90s with leaders including current Mayor Amarjeet Sohi, workers will now be subject to the same wages and working conditions as conventional transit operators.

“It’s the beginning of a new era of recognition of the value of workers who serve the disabled population” said Amalgamated Transit Union President Steve Bradshaw. “Their struggle has reached a new plateau. These workers can now see themselves as equals in the employment world.”

“I want to thank the people who started us down this road to equality.” Said ATU DATS Representative Daryn Kreutzer. “They were the visionaries that started the ball rolling and today we see it coming to full fruition.”

The workers ratified a contract that will end on December 30, this year. Negotiations begin early in 2024 with the ETS Bargaining Unit and the DATS workers at the table.