The panel has ordered WMATA to come to the bargaining table and negotiate with the union on the impact and effect of existing work on what will go to the new bus garage.
In the decision, the arbitration panel found that the opening of the Cinder Bed Road facility would remove bus routes from being chosen in “work picks” by existing WMATA bus operators who would want to select those routes.
Additionally, the arbitration panel found that “the reassignment of duties for WMATA bus operators is a direct result of the federal grants funding Cinder Bed Rd and its buses.” This finding acknowledges the union’s argument that the contract for the garage with Transdev and federal grants are “inextricably intertwined,” and therefore WMATA must preserve the collective bargaining rights as protected under Section 13(c) of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964 by negotiating directly with ATU Local 689.
“Today is not only a win for our union, but it is also a win for the labor movement around the country as we all fight back from these attempts to privatize public transit with no evidence that it will save money in the long term or improve the system,” says ATU Local 689 President Jackie Jeter. “This award should be a wakeup call to Paul Wiedefeld that balancing the challenges of Metro on the backs of the workforce that move this city and region isn’t going to fly.”
Today’s award follows monthly of worker and legal protest by ATU Local 689 where the members have stood steadfast in their commitment to protecting the work they rightfully believe is theirs and working for a safe, affordable and reliable Metro system without private contractors known to cut corners and raise fares.
The union says it looks forward to scheduling negotiations with WMATA soon.