Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005 is a labor union representing roughly 2,500 public transportation employees of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, area, including bus drivers, light rail operators and rail technicians. It is a local union affiliated with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), a member of the AFL-CIO labor union federation.
The union’s president, Ryan Timlin, is a self-professed socialist who has praised self-described “democratic socialist” U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont). 
The ATU Local 105 represents transit workers in the Twin Cities of Minnesota who were paid starting pay of $19.45 per hour with built-in pay hikes and a top pay scale of $58,000 as of 2018. 
Ryan Timlin, a professed socialist, was elected as the union president in November 2017, running unopposed. Timlin, a Minneapolis resident, was a bus driver for 11 years before becoming the union president. 
He gave an interview to the Socialist Alternative in October 2017 touting an agenda that wasn’t limited to representing the interest of Minnesota transit workers. “Beyond our struggle for a fair contract and workplace, we also find ourselves living in a society dominated by billionaires and corporations,” Timlin said. “Like Bernie Sanders, I consider myself a socialist and see the need to build a movement of the 99% – the regular working people – against this billionaire class.” 
“Trade unions have a key role to play in this struggle, but must unite with other unions and social movements to achieve real gains,” Timlin continued in the 2017 interview with the socialist media outlet. “I’ve been active in the victorious 15 Now struggle, protests against police brutality, Bernie Sanders’ political revolution, union solidarity campaigns, etc. ATU 1005 has the potential to be seen as a real fighting force for all working people in the Twin Cities area. Our leadership must seek ways to build more relationships with progressive social movements that challenge the status quo, rather than simply donate to countless run-of-the-mill political candidates.” 
Advocacy and Policy
In 2018, a light rail train driver ran a stop signal and smashed into a car, killing a 29-year-old man and injuring another of the car’s passengers. The union defended the driver, who was reinstated to employment in a non-driving role. 
Timlin has advocated against holding rail operators accountable, saying that the “whole light rail system was designed poorly and has safety flaws.” The union strongly opposes putting cameras in the cabs of the train operators. “I don’t think it will make anything clearer and, if cameras in cabs do happen, we have to make sure our employees are not targeted,” Timlin told a Minneapolis-area television station. 
The average age for transit employees is 48, and there has been a 33 percent decline in applications since 2013. The Minneapolis-area transit system has about 1,500 bus drivers, but reportedly needs almost 60 to be fully staffed to address all routes serving about 250,000 riders.
Unionized operations don’t help with recruiting younger employees, Polly Hanson, director of security risk for the American Public Transportation Association, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. That’s because union shops ensure new transit employees are assigned to night, weekend, split shifts and the most unpopular routes. 
There were a number of assaults on bus drivers in 2017-2018, leading to disputes between local government and the union. While the Metro Council took measures to protect drivers, it also fired one driver and disciplined another for confrontations with riders in 2018, prompting ATU Local 1005 members at a council transportation committee meeting to chant, “We move this city!” and “Bring them back!” 
Union vice president Dorothy Maki-Green, financial secretary-treasurer Tommy Bellfield, and recording secretary John McConnell were elected along with Timlin in 2017 union election.