ATU's Todd Brogan reports:
Monday, December 2, marks 40 days of strike for ATU Local 689 Metrobus workers employed by Transdev at WMATA's Cinder Bed Road garage.
· Cinder Bed Road pickets resume Monday at 7901 Cinder Bed Road, Lorton, VA, and at WMATA HQ, 600 5th Street NW, Washington, DC.
· ATU Local 689 President Raymond Jackson penned an op-ed published in the Sunday Washington Post: “A strike in Virginia will determine the future of public transit”
· Striker morale remains outstandingly high given the length of strike. Their first ask this week? “How can we help UFCW 400 and UNITE 23 in their struggles?” Transdev and WMATA with their ceaseless acts of economic violence have turned transit workers into true trade unionists. Ya love to see it.
· Thanks to IAF (WIN, VOICE), strikers suspended the picket last week by ending with a meal from DC’s finest soul joint, Ooohs and Aaahs. IAF congregants and leaders are also distributing thousands of leaflets in their communities.
· During the Thanksgiving holiday, we got word that Transdev is still trying to scrape up scabs from Loudon County and surrounding jurisdictions to try to restart the 15 Cinder Bed routes that have been without service for 40 days.
· At Fairfax Connector, the company also decided to mark the holiday by distributing a fact sheet accusing the ATU of lying to its members, proving once again that the company is indeed the union-busting monstrosity we all imagine it to be.
· The National Labor Relations Board is currently investigating 36 separate allegations against Transdev for violating federal labor law at Fairfax Connector and in negotiations with the union.
· At Connector, ATU Local 1764 and Transdev management remain far apart on everything from maintenance wages to holidays, health insurance, sick and vacation leave, retirement, and route assignments. Workers are not yet on strike, but will be convening their final strike preparation meeting Monday evening.
· Meanwhile, Transdev is burning cash up already trying to break a strike that hasn’t yet begun. They’ve brought in a bus load of scabs from god-knows-where and are actively training them on some routes. Fortunately, their chances of getting hundreds of soulless CDL-holding scabs is minimal, so any strike will undoubtedly disrupt service.
· If and when Connector does strike, we will have several new picket lines come online. Please add these addresses to your logistical planning:
o Fairfax Connector Herndon: 268 Spring Street, Herndon, VA
o Fairfax Connector Huntington: 8101 Cinder Bed Road, Newington, VA (right down the street from the 689 picket0
o Fairfax Connector West Ox: 4970 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA
· The union is producing a Connector-focused rider leaflet and will have these available for digital distribution tomorrow and for paper distribution Tuesday.
· DC Jobs with Justice is continuing its independent direct action planning. Be sure to reach out to them at [email protected].
Here’s how you can help
· Share Local 689’s op-ed
Help ATU 1764 Connector members by calling Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova at 703-324-2321. Tell her that the County must rein in Transdev and compel them to quit committing Unfair Labor Practices and settle a fair contract before it’s too late!·
Donate $ to the 689 strike fund: http://bit.ly/cinderbedstrike
Donate to the 689 picket line: http://bit.ly/cinderbedmeals
Picket with 689 in VA (daily): https://facebook.com/events/2310195405775260/
Picket with 689 in DC (weekdays): https://facebook.com/events/553753515478162/
Link up with DC JWJ to help with solidarity direct actions: [email protected].
Firewood is still key as the weather gets cold. We’ve got two burn barrels now, and need kindling and logs.
Call out @wmata on Twitter and @metroforward on Facebook with words of support for the strikers. Remember to tag @atulocal689 and @atucomm on Twitter or @atulocal689group on Facebook so we can repost.