Hundreds of CTA employees marched through downtown Chicago on Saturday afternoon, pleading for safety this holiday season following an upsurge in violence against agency employees.
Keith Hill, president of Local 241 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents some of the agency’s employees, said there have been nearly 400 assaults this year against CTA staff.
“Enough is enough,” he said. “Locals 241 and 308 are fed up at this point.”
Just last weekend, a 49-year-old CTA bus driver was assaulted while driving in the 100 block of North Michigan Avenue.
During the night, the driver heard a loud noise and got out of the bus to investigate, police said. When he did, he was confronted with two individuals. The two then began to repeatedly hit the driver, causing bruises on his body and face, authorities said.
Chicago police announced the arrest of a 15-year-old boy the next day.
“We are here to move this city every day, making sure people get to and from work safely, but we are under attack to do our job,” said Marian Lampkin, a CTA bus operator. . “We want to come home the same way we come.”
Union leaders and bus drivers express concern that the trend of violence against public transport workers continues to increase without additional security.
“When I think I come to work safely, it’s like I have to pray because I don’t know what the outcome will be that day,” said Tamirra Dixon, CTA bus operator.
A representative from CTA told NBC 5 that the agency works closely with the Chicago Police Department and that the safety of its employees is a top priority.