- Public transport workers, including drivers, ticket sellers, conductors, cleaners, maintenance and office workers, are essential workers expected to continue to work through the COVID-19 pandemic, despite heightened occupational risk of exposure to COVID-19.
- Public transport workers have reported that they are often stressed because of their fear of catching the virus or passing it on to family and friends, and have reported impact on their mental health and socio-economic consequences. Workers should have access to comprehensive continuous healthcare coverage, including access to mental health support, but many report that they do not have this access.
- In response, PWHS and the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) are undertaking a study to better understand the main stressors that young workers in the public transport sector are experiencing due to the pandemic, and the long-term impact those stressors can have on young transport workers.
- Key informant interviews with individuals most responsible for occupational health and safety among participating unions and group interviews with union members will examine the main stressors as well as mental health services provided by employers, measures that unions have taken to address young workers’ mental wellbeing, and informal psychosocial support mechanisms.
- Members of Unifor, CUPE, and ATU unions aged 16-35 years who are invited to participate should: