The new president of Metro’s largest union spoke with WTOP for the first time since taking over as president of Local 689, which represents about 9,000 frontline workers. Here’s what he had to say about Metro shutdowns, his relationship with Metro Manager Paul Wiedefeld and other issues.
Metro has revised upward the amount of additional money it needs from local taxpayers in the current budget year, even as it looks ahead to potential service improvements next summer.
Metro expects to turn to state and local governments across the region to cover the costs of pay raises for workers an arbitration panel ordered last week, but the Metro Board chairman is warning of a more significant fiscal “ticking time bomb” just over the horizon.
The transit agency awarded an $89 million contract Thursday to operate and maintain buses out of a new garage set to open in Lorton, Va. It could prove a setback in what had appeared to be easing tensions between Metro and its largest union.
Metro’s largest union appeared to back off the threat of an imminent strike Monday after Metro agreed to reverse changes for custodians’ job assignments.
Metro’s largest union suggested Wednesday that there will not be a strike this week as it outlined its demands for the first time since Sunday’s strike authorization vote.
Metro and its largest union remain in discussions after the union voted Sunday to let its leaders call a strike, Metro said Monday afternoon.
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 held the strike authorization vote following two instances in the past two weeks where a significant number of workers reported to work late in protest of Metro management.
Many Metro buses either arrived late or did not arrive at all across Maryland, Virginia and the District on Thursday because drivers reported to work well after the scheduled starts of their shifts.
Metro said Wednesday that buses and trains are delayed because of “a collective labor action” by its employees’ union, which saw employees showing up late to work.
Metro wants a federal judge to intervene and stop a June 19 arbitration hearing, arguing it has sole discretion over hiring and firing.
Metro’s largest union has filed a notice of appeal, after a judge ordered new elections in the midst of heated contract negotiations.
It’s been nearly nine months since the previous contract with Metro’s largest union expired. If negotiations remain deadlocked, the next step is arbitration.
Track inspectors fired over what Metro described as falsified inspection reports are simply guilty of “shoddy paperwork,” a top union leader says.
Rep. Barbara Comstock, who represents Virginia’s 10th District, has asked why some Metro bus drivers can make more than $100,000 in a year, or why rail controllers were able to make more than $200,000.
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