Forestville, Md. – This Saturday, members of ATU Local 689, which represents the operators, maintenance and clerical employees of Metro, will formally unveil their unified agenda to improve Metro. The rally will bring together hundreds of Local 689 members, as well as other labor unions in the region and policy makers including Metro General Manager Paul Weidefeld, the WMATA Board Chair Jack Evans, and Chairman of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Roger Berliner.
“No one knows the system better than our members, who are the front line workers of the system,” said Jackie L. Jeter, president of ATU Local 689. “All of the issues that Metro faces --- whether it is maintenance, training or safety --- go back to funding. Metro has to have a dedicated funding source to make sure that the system remains safe, affordable and reliable.”
To make the case for dedicated funding and meeting those benchmarks, the rally will include speeches from:
- Leah Anderson – an Elevator/Escalator Journeyman Technician who will talk about the lack of parts and manpower, which slows the maintenance of elevators and escalators in the system.
- Dion Baker – a Train Operator who will address the faulty and outdated radio equipment he uses while in train tunnels.
- Zuri Teshiera – a Road Mechanic who will discuss the need for more preventive maintenance to trains, and the need for more regular training.
- Flynn “Tiny” Burke – a DC Circulator Bus Operator who will explain how, as a result of him working for an outsourced company, he has witnessed dangerous cost cutting on safety while the company makes a profit.