By CONNECTICUT WORKERS CRISIS RESPONSE (CWCR)

TRANSIT EQUITY DAY & ROSA PARKS BIRTHDAY: “Drop the charges and return Erek Slater to work!”

On Rosa Park’s birthday, Connecticut Workers Crisis Response (CWCR) honors her legacy in the fight for civil rights by standing in solidarity with the right for everyone to have equal access to public transit. We also recognize the profound role public transportation will play in the fight against climate change. 

This year, transit workers boldly stood against police brutality after the murder of George Floyd and are being targeted for their solidarity. In Chicago, Erek Slater, a union bus driver and father was targeted by the Chicago Transit Authority for speaking out against police brutality. On July 7, 2020, Erek Slater was officially fired by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) for leading discussions with his coworkers regarding the use of public transit buses shuttling police to protests against the murder of George Floyd. Erek read the official statement of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) to CTA Bus Operators: ”Furthermore, as our members – bus drivers – have the right to refuse work they consider dangerous or unsafe during the pandemic, so too Minneapolis bus drivers – our members – have the right to refuse the dangerous duty of transporting police to protests and arrested demonstrators away from these communities where many of these drivers live. This is a misuse of public transit.”

We, the members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998 support the fight of Erek Slater, (ATU Local 241 Bus Driver) to be reinstated. We believe he represented the union members in his capacity as a union representative, during the mass protest over the murder of George Floyd.”  – James Macon, PresidentAmalgamated Transit Union, Local 998

“We want to express our admiration for the refusal to collude the police that would put Black people, their multi-ethnic supporters and trade unionists in danger.”  – Margaret McAdamsSecretary Liverpool Trade Union Council London, England

“The CTA’s decision to attack a worker for educating fellow drivers on their hard-won union rights is an unacceptable attempt to roll back the rights of all essential workers…Connecticut Workers Crisis Response rejects the CTA’s attempt to violate Erek Slater’s rights as a union worker as well as the general offensive from the bosses on fighters for racial justice”. – Statement approved by CT Workers Crisis Response

We call on the CTA to, “Drop the charges and return Erek Slater to work!”

Contact us @CWCR.CT@gmail.com for more info or for more info click here

Initiated by:
Connecticut Workers Crisis Response
Endorsers:

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1336 (BPT)
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 443 (Stamford)
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1622 (Danbury)Western CT Area Labor FederationFairfield County Central Labor Chapter UFCW Local 371  UNITE HERE Local 2527T
Ken Blair, President UNITE HERE Local 217
GEU-UAW Local 6950
Unidad Latina en Acción
National Council of Negro Women CT
New Britain Racial Justice Coalition
350 CT

How you can help:

  1. Share this message. Cut and paste it to emails, social media, etc.
  2. Sign and share the petition demanding the dropping of all charges. Over 1200 signatures so far.
  3. ‘Like’ and share the page: International Campaign to Reinstate Chicago Bus Driver Erek Slater
  4. Ask your union/organization to pass resolutions and/or send letters to the people in power who can bring Erek back to work. (See template and addresses below.)
  5. Help Erek’s family with essentials and legal fees (see links below), etc. If you can, donate to the GoFundMe appeal here. We are also accepting donations of food/groceries, pull-ups (size 7), baby-wipes and children’s hand-me-down clothing and shoes, etc. (7T for girl and 4T for twin boys). Please send private messages for in-kind donations to this email: reinstateerek@gmail.com.

Send emails to people in power who can bring Erek back to work:

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot: letterforthemayor@cityofchicago.org

CTA Board Chairman Terry Peterson: glonghini1@transitchicago.com

CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr.: feedback@transitchicago.com

(please cc reinstateerek@gmail.com)

Sample Email:

“[We/I are/am] writing you to request that Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus operator Erek Slater be immediately returned to his job of 14 years. Erek and other workers are being improperly targeted for using their constitutionally protected rights to freedom of speech and legal rights to organize. CTA workers were stopped – and are still being stopped – by CTA management and Chicago Police from holding conversations regarding the use of police shuttles during the protests against the police murders of Black people. This is wrong and must stop now. Drop all charges against him and return Erek to work now!”

Letters / Statements of support can also be sent to the Amalgamated Transit Union: (please cc reinstateerek@gmail.com) ATU International President John Costa, Officers and General Executive Board: Officeofthepresident@atu.orgjcosta@atu.org