Toronto transit introduces whistleblower pilot project

Program sends the wrong message to the public, union says
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 07/23/2013

A new whistleblower program launched by Toronto’s transit service will help expose internal fraud — but the union leader who represents workers has blasted the program.

An announcement from the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) on July 22 revealed that it would be using a third-party service to set up a new whistleblower hotline that people can anonymously call to report instances of fraud, waste and theft.

While the TTC reports the program will help investigators followup on tips and ensure employees are abiding by the rules, Bob Kinnear, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113, said the program fuels a culture of mistrust.

“During my 10 years as President of Local 113, I long ago lost track of the number of times I have said that the union does not in any way condone any illegal or unsafe acts by TTC workers. Our members understand that they work in a position of public trust and any alleged violation of that trust is subject to a disciplinary process in accordance with our collective agreement,” Kinnear said. “My only concern with this new initiative is that it publicly promotes the idea that there is widespread fraud and theft on the part of TTC employees that has yet to be discovered. There is simply no evidence for this and how this is supposed to improve morale is beyond me.”

The TTC’s whistleblower hotline is a pilot program that will run for one year.

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