Two years after a big win to increase wages and improve safety, DC Circulator workers are engaged in a major campaign to make the bus service publicly operated. Joined by community, labor and religious allies, ATU Local 1764 has been using social media, holding rallies, lobbying elected officials, and more to persuade the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to stop using a private contractor. The coalition has an ally in D.C. Council member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), who called for a plan to bring the Circulator in-house. “I do think that we have a capacity to do that,” Cheh (above) told DDOT Director Jeff Marootian at a hearing on the issue. “I am not a big fan of privatization. I think you get a bad result, and the people tend to be treated worse than if they were actually government workers.” First Transit, whose revenue contract with D.C. expires on June 30, currently runs the system which continues to be plagued with safety concerns. Read more here.
photo credit: William Reid/WAMU