President Lee Issues Statement on Last Night’s Driver Assault

police crime scene photoThe mob assault of an MBTA Bus Driver shows the need for the legislature and public safety officials to make prosecuting assaults on public transit workers a priority.

The Boston Carmen’s Union ATU Local 589 is relieved and thankful that the Bus Driver, attacked in the early morning hours, was not more seriously injured. However this assault by a reported mob on an isolated Local 589 member simply doing his job illustrates the need for public safety officials and the legislature to act quickly before a transit worker is killed.

Last year, in response to the increasing number of violent assaults on Local 589 members, Regional Transit Authority (RTA) workers and transit workers in general, our Union’s Executive Board met with MBTA Police Chief Paul MacMillan and his senior officers. Together we crafted a bill to deal with the arrest of individuals or groups who attack transit workers.

House Bill 1508/Senate Bill 718 “An Act to Authorize the Arrest for Assault and Battery on a Public Employee” was filed by State Senator Sal DiDomenico and State Representative James Miceli and deserves immediate action by both branches of the Legislature.

MBTA and RTA workers, male and female, are on the job in the early morning hours and late into the night. They are often isolated while working in buses, trolleys and transit stations and are increasing becoming the target of violence. It is well passed time for a crackdown on the thugs that target working women and men on any public transit job.

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