Calling privatization “spooky,” DC Streetcar workers and their community allies on Monday staged a Halloween Rally to call on the D.C. government to cut its contract with RATP, the French-owned private operator of the Streetcar, bring operations in-house to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), and compensate the workforce fairly with competitive wages and affordable healthcare. “We already know that the D.C. Streetcar is a part of a larger initiative by DDOT to outsource public transit, gentrify communities in D.C.,” said ATU Local 689 President Jackie Jeter. “We also know that the privatization of public transit does not work. The Streetcar with its cost overruns, broken commitments, blown deadlines, inept management decisions, and worker disputes is a perfect example of why privatization needs to be rejected for our transit systems in this region.” Workers at the D.C. Streetcar voted overwhelmingly in March 2016 to join Local 689, which already represents more than 10,000 WMATA Metrorail, Metrobus, and MetroAccess active and retired employees in the region.
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