TORONTO — The Toronto Transit Commission says 38 of its bus drivers have refused to work over safety concerns linked to COVID-19.
TTC spokesman Stuart Green says in an email that 33 drivers initiated work refusals Wednesday evening.
He says the Ontario Ministry of Labour is reviewing what happened to determine if their actions were justified.
The TTC noted that earlier Wednesday five other drivers also refused work on the same grounds.
Green says in that case the provincial inspector ruled that the circumstances reported by the refusing workers did not meet the conditions of a work refusal under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
He says the inspector further determined that the TTC has measures and procedures in place for preventing hazards associated with COVID-19.
He says the inspector cited plexiglass barricade bus operators can close, the blocking off of seats immediately behind the operator, use of rear-door boarding and a collapsible barricade — all of which provide the operator with physical distancing.
Green says the inspector also cited protective equipment such as disposable gloves, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer available to operators.
He says the TTC considers employee health and safety of paramount importance and is in the process of obtaining washable, reusable face masks.
The Canadian Press