PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — R.I. Public Transport Authority (RIPTA) employees voted “no confidence” in senior management Thursday in the wake of a major security breach that compromised the data of more than 12,000 workers.
The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 618, which represents the nearly 800 people employed by RIPTA, is calling for the resignation of the public transit agency’s chief officers and senior staff.
“They’re ignoring us at service review and safety meetings as we continue to deal with a dangerous pandemic,” Local 618 President Nick DeCristofaro said in a statement. “Along with the severe and egregious security breach of personal information, this lack of communication has resulted in a perfect storm.”
“Our members have been heroes on the frontlines of the pandemic providing essential transportation to keep our community moving,” he continued. “We deserve better than this. The overwhelming vote of no confidence in RIPTA management demonstrates that our members’ demands for change must be heard.”
The cyberattack occurred back in August and the stolen information includes the personal details for some state workers who have no ties to the public transit agency.
It took four months for RIPTA to notify workers of the security breach. The public transit agency said it didn’t initially notify employees because it took them some time to figure out whose information had been compromised.
Local 618 is considering taking legal action against RIPTA, alongside those state employees whose data was also compromised.
RIPTA said it would be providing complementary membership to identity monitoring services through Equifax, but the union believes that the public transit agency isn’t doing enough to rectify the situation.
“It’s appalling that in response to a breach that included our member’s families and underage children that could be affected by this their entire lives, they offer one year of credit monitoring. It’s unacceptable and irresponsible,” ATU International President John Costa said. “Our members don’t take a vote of no confidence lightly. It comes when they’ve lost trust in management to do the right thing by their employees and the riders they’re entrusted with to keep safe. This lack of leadership at RIPTA needs a response immediately.”
The R.I. Attorney General’s office is actively investigating the security breach.
12 News has reached out to RIPTA for comment but has not yet heard back.