ATU Local 689 members on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to approve a “historic” four-year labor deal with WMATA. “The deal safeguards our members from privatization, guarantees steady wage increases, and helps provide a path towards bringing the Cinder Bed Bus garage in-house while protecting the workers that work there now,” Local 689 said in a press release. The WMATA Board of Directors unanimously approved the deal on Friday.
While the union said the deal will help prevent future labor disputes, “it does not immediately end the ongoing strike” at the Cinder Bed garage in Lorton, VA that’s been going on for almost 60 days. “Unfortunately, Transdev has not met our simple demands for written guarantees that the company will not retaliate and a commitment to good faith bargaining,” said Local 689. The next date that the company has agreed to meet for bargaining is January 14th. “This is completely unacceptable,” said Local 689. “Not only is this company trying to starve its workers during the holidays, but it shows no remorse for stranding passengers an additional 25 days without buses.”
The union proposed a simple way to end the strike: “WMATA should hire all of these operators, utility workers, and mechanics immediately. WMATA should then put them to work restoring service to the stranded riders in Northern Virginia.”
Updated to reflect the WMATA board's approval of the deal Friday.