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COVID-19 and Rochester Labor

ATU Local 282

Interview with Jacques Chapman (President, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 282), 19 February 2021

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 282 represents the more than six hundred workers who are responsible for making the Regional Transit Service run, providing essential bus service to fifty-five thousand Rochester area riders daily:  bus drivers, mechanics, cleaners, dispatchers and clerical staff.

ATU 282 is a majority minority (Black and Hispanic) union, with a historically predominantly male membership (though this is changing).

Alerted early to the dangers posed by COVID-19, the local appealed to its international union for assistance, receiving not only PPE (masks) but support for policies related to testing, contact tracing, COVID-related time off without penalty, arranging for the enforcement of a mask policy (no mask, no ride; passenger masks provided by Monroe County), and for instituting a three-month no fare, rear door entry policy.  The local Regional Transit Authority was exceedingly cooperative with the union's efforts to protect the workforce from infection.

As a result of these measures and despite a general ridership decline (initially fifty percent) and, additionally, the loss of thousands of city school district student riders, most ATU 282 members were able to continue working through the pandemic. However, quite a few members were either infected or quarantined after exposure and one retiree died of COVID. By mid-February 2021 an estimated quarter of the members were able to receive vaccines administered through the County.



COVID-19 and Rochester Labor

Prefatory Notes




Read the Interviews

NYSUT Regional Office
MCC FA, NYSUT Local 2842
UFCW District 1
IBEW Local 86
UAW Local 1097
ATU Local 282
IAFF Local 1071
NALC Branch 210
SEIU Local 1199
Workers United Regional Joint Board
CWA Local 1170
CSEA Western Region
APWU Local 215
AFM Local 66
IUE-CWA (FSW) Local 81381
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GCIU Local 503