Two years after their previous contract expired, Metro workers have been awarded annual wage increase of 1.6 percent over a four-year period ending in July 2020. The decision was made by an arbitration board after contract negotiations stalled; members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 have been working without a contract since July 2016. The union accepted what it called a “rational decision,” adding that “We look forward to Metro’s timely implementation.” The award -- which also left the current pension system in place -- is effective retroactively to July 1, 2016. The award does not eliminate the issues that provoked Local 689 members to authorize a strike last month, including disciplinary policies, elimination of jobs and open positions, and Metro’s push to privatize some services. In a related action, over 100 Local 689 members and their supporters rallied at noon at Metro Center yesterday to call for WMATA GM Paul Wiedefeld’s firing in the wake of the special Metro train provided for the “Unite the Right” participants last Sunday, despite assurances by the transit agency that this would not be the case. Hear more about this on yesterday's "Your Rights At Work" show on WPFW 89.3 FM.
- report/photo by Chris Garlock