Winnipeg Transit drivers didn't mince words Thursday, when given the chance to tell Mayor Brian Bowman how scared they are following a fatal attack on a colleague earlier this week.
"He took a lot of heat," said John Callahan, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1505.
Bowman spent his morning in the cafeteria of the Transit garage on Osborne Street, holding an informal meeting with drivers. Callahan said the mayor listened to every piece of advice and criticism.
"There were some aggressive conversations that took place, but he stood his ground and he listened to the concerns."
Callahan said the morning meeting was initiated by the mayor's office. He said this is his first meeting with a city official since bus driver Irvine Fraser was fatally stabbed on his route early Tuesday.
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Police have charged 22-year-old Brian Kyle Thomas with second-degree murder in connection with Fraser's death.
Callahan said the random attack has created a great deal of fear among the drivers, a message that was shared Thursday morning with Bowman.
"A lot of them [drivers] are now saying that their children are hugging them before they go to work," said Callahan. "He heard loud and clear what our members think needs to be done to make things safer for our drivers."
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The mayor was not available for comment on the meeting.
"The Mayor was simply there to listen to concerns and ensure lines of communication continue to be open," an email from Bowman's press secretary said.
Callahan said he is meeting with the head of Winnipeg Transit, Dave Wardrop, and other city officials next week.