As a result of this incident, ATU Local 689 is demanding of Metro not to bring any 7000-series trains into the shop until all employees that come in contact with them are properly informed on the potential for hazards, and training is given on bringing trains to manufacturer specification (to date, railcar mechanics have yet to be trained on maintaining 7000-series cars). Further, after employees are properly trained and informed, Local 689 demands that 7000-series trains brought in for inspection be brought back into revenue service only after the necessary repairs are made.
In 2015, when General Manager Paul Wiedefeld learned of track defects that could potentially lead to a fatality on Metro Rail, he made the historic decision to shut down Metro for an entire day. Like then, these 7000-series defects have the potential to lead to fatalities.
Earlier this spring the union released “Fund It, Fix It, Make It Fair,” long term solutions to fix, improve, and stabilize WMATA. Among the proposals were joint union-management committees that would identify and resolve safety issues. It is the union’s sincere hope that Metro leadership will look to partner with their workforce to create an effective safety culture and never allow an avoidable incident like this to happen again.