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TTD to WMATA: Help Ensure a Fair and Just Contract for Transdev Workers

Mr. Paul Wiedefeld
General Manager and Chief Executive Officer
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
600 Fifth Street, N.W.
Washington D.C.  20001

Mr. Paul Smedberg
Chairman
Board of Directors
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
600 Fifth Street, N.W.
Washington D.C.  20001

Dear Mr. Wiedefeld and Mr. Smedberg:

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I urge you to take immediate steps to ensure that drivers and other workers currently employed at the Cinder Bed Road Metrobus facility and at Fairfax Connector receive a fair and just contract with comparable pay and benefits to those enjoyed by WMATA employees.

As you know, 120 Metrobus operators represented by ATU Local 689 have been on strike since October 24th — 50 days on the picket line. More than 600 members of ATU Local 1764 have just returned to work last night after being forced to strike over unfair labor practices deployed by Metro contractor Transdev. As the General Manager and Board Chairman of WMATA, it is your responsibility to ensure that services provided to WMATA customers are reliable, and that workers are afforded the highest level of respect and dignity on the job. Today, this is simply not happening.

The ongoing strike at Cinder Bed Road and the failure to resolve the labor dispute at Fairfax Connector is directly linked to WMATA’s decision to contract out these operations to Transdev. In fact, the company’s business model in Northern Virginia is premised on imposing a below-market compensation package at both Cinder Bed Road and Fairfax Connector. This is an unacceptable outcome and undermines the good jobs and economic development that we know smart public transit policies can provide to communities in this region.

I am also concerned that Transdev’s refusal to resolve these disputes in a fair and timely manner has undermined safe and efficient service for tens of thousands of commuters who depend on public transit. Eighteen routes out of Cinder Bed Road have effectively been shut down and several dozen routes were similarly impacted at Fairfax Connector. In fact, this is now the biggest transit strike in the Capital region in more than 41 years and has the potential to spread to other properties.

Public transit workers, whether employed directly at WMATA or through private contractors, must have the basic right to bargain collectively for wages and benefits that allow them to live and raise families in this region.

In closing, I again call on you to use the powers available at your disposal to end the strike at Cinder Bed Road and resolve the labor dispute at Fairfax Connector by ensuring Transdev stops treating their workers as second-class employees.

 

Sincerely,

Larry I. Willis
President

 

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