MetroAccess workers reach tentative deal to end strike

MetroAccess drivers are poised to end a nine-day strike after reaching a tentative agreement with a private contractor Transdev on Thursday.

Members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, which represents MetroAccess paratransit workers, have been on strike since Aug. 1 seeking better pay, health care and retirement benefits amid a long-running staffing shortage.

“Our members stood strong and united throughout this process. They braved the heat and the company’s tactics to try and divide us,” ATU Local 689 President Raymond Jackson said in a statement.

According to a news release from the union, the tentative year-three contract provides for desired provisions including wage increases, improved sick leave, a more secure retirement plan and additional holidays.

“We must still address the issue of privatization of our most vital services, like paratransit,” Jackson added. “WMATA needs to reconsider its relationship with private contractors. It’s not working, and transit workers and riders are being left behind.”

MetroAccess is an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant service run by the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority, which remains critical to communities that need assistance traversing the D.C. region.

The union said a vote to ratify the contract is expected in the coming days.

WTOP’s Ivy Lyons contributed to this report.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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