Hundreds of Winnipeg bus drivers rally for safety at work
WINNIPEG — Hundreds gathered at City Hall Friday morning, to honour the memory of transit driver Irvine Jubal Fraser, who was killed in a knife attack while on the job this week.
Many people were in tears and embraced one another as transit operators arrived in bus loads to show support Fraser, also known as Jubal.
WATCH: Transit drivers gather at Portage Avenue and Main Street Friday morning
At the rally, many transit drivers said they want to see change to rules and the protections provided to them while they work.
Fraser’s brother said he wants to see more protections in place for bus drivers, and wanted a new law in place, called “The Jubal Law”.
This comes days after Fraser, 58, was stabbed to death outside the bus he was operating at the end of the route.
John Callahan, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union in Winnipeg, said although the stabbing happened outside of the bus, there are many instances of drivers being harassed or assaulted behind the wheel.
According to the city, “Winnipeg Transit operators are trained to inform passengers that they are at the end of the route and ask them to leave. If the passengers refuse or cause a disturbance, operators are trained to call the Control Centre for assistance,” read a written statement emailed to Global News.
He said the city should look into safety measures, such as safety shields for drivers.
“There are different shields, and maybe we need to look at something that is specially designed for our own needs,” Callahan said.
“There are times when you’re going to want a shield, and times when you’re not going to want a shield. There are shields that are retractable.”
Another possible solution is a fleet of transit police, he said.
“We’re going to have to start small, obviously, but I think there’s opportunity to do that, and we can do it cost-effectively too,” he said. “It’s a matter of moving some funds around, relocating some individuals, and I think that it’s quite possible to do.”
With files from 680 CJOB
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