The courts will decide the validity of the claims made by the terminated track walkers, but Metro should still be held responsible for its practices with respect to race. Several Local 689 members, who are track walkers, have observed the privately contracted track inspectors (those who inspect the work of the walkers) to be majority white. On occasions where it is documented that the inspectors have missed defects, unlike the black track walkers, they are not disciplined in the same manner. Metro must answer for the criteria of their black track walkers and the contracted white inspectors being different.
Metro leadership must be held responsible for its dereliction of responsibility which led to these 21 workers being terminated. Safety has been and will continue to be the union’s first priority and we will continue to fight for an effective safety culture, even when Metro ignores the need. What we will not do is allow our members to be scapegoated because of the incompetence of WMATA leadership.