DDOT transit union former president Fred Westbrook dies due to COVID-19

Fred Westbrook.JPG
Posted at 4:23 PM, May 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-24 19:37:14-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Former ATU President Fred Westbrook has died due to complications from the coronavirus, Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones said in a Facebook post.

"Fred was a strong voice for the people of the City of Detroit and DDOT bus drivers. He will truly be missed," Jones wrote in the post, while also calling on the public to obey social distancing guidelines.

'Please respect social distancing protocols, wear your masks and wash your hands," Jones wrote. "I know this is a hard time for us all but we have lost too many friends, family members and pillars of our communities. We owe it to their legacies to be responsible and to prevent these tragedies in the future."

In a statement released Sunday night, Detroit mayor Mike Duggan said, "I was saddened to learn about the passing of Fred Westbrook, who lost his battle with COVID-19. Fred retired only recently after serving as president of the DDOT bus drivers union, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 26.

"During the years Fred and I worked together, he was a great partner in the progress we have made reforming and DDOT and improving service. More than any other issue, Fred was a tireless advocate for the safety of his members and championed many of the steps we took to improve safety, such as establishing a dedicated transit police force and putting cameras on all of our buses.

"If you’ve noticed the improvements DDOT has made over the last several years, Fred was right there at the heart of them. He leaves a great legacy and will be deeply missed."

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