Cornwall’s Transit Union celebrates 100th anniversary

Image of Shawna O'Neill
By Shawna O'Neill
Cornwall’s Transit Union celebrates 100th anniversary
From left, Les Foulds the last surviving Cornwall streetcar driver, Mayor Bernadette Clement and Carley Foulds (Shawna O'Neill/Seaway News photo).

CORNWALL, Ontario – At 9:46 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3 the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 946 celebrated 100 years of unionized public transit service in Cornwall.

Cornwall Transit administration staff, City Councillors and other important guests gathered at the Cornwall Transit building to discuss local public transportation, reflect, and enjoy cake and refreshments.

Although public transit in the city dates back to the late 1800’s with the establishment of Cornwall Electric Street Railway Co. Ltd., the ATU became unionized on Dec. 3, 1919. Prior to being known as the ATU, the union was known as the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Employees of America.

Scott Szabadka, President and Business Agent for ATU Local 946, said that staff members held an evening of celebration on Saturday, Nov. 30, recognizing employees of 35 years to seven months.

“We honoured our current members, past members…we had people from our ATU Canada office down (including the President and International Vice President). The evening basically started off with some speeches, dinner for members and invited guests and we also honoured all of our active members with service awards,” he explained, adding that honourary member Les Foulds, the last surviving streetcar operator in Cornwall, was recognized.

“I just want to thank ATU Local 946,” said Mayor Bernadette Clement during the celebrations on Dec. 3, which also marked her one-year anniversary as Cornwall’s Mayor. “It’s part of what makes us a real city, to have transit…there are thousands of people in Cornwall who grateful to Cornwall Transit everyday…to work, to shop and to live.”

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