This suit was filed earlier this week because Metro has blatantly made the decision to ignore a legally binding arbitration award. Further, Metro chose not to contest the arbitration ruling in time for it to be heard in court. Metro is now ignoring a process that they agreed to honor in our collective bargaining agreement.
In January of 2015, Local 689 stated that the L’Enfant Plaza incident spoke to a much larger issue of a seriously lacking safety culture in the Metro system. No single employee should have to bear the brunt of a system-wide failure, especially when the responsibility fell on Metro managers who were fully aware of the safety breakdowns and failure by ROCC staff to conduct proper testing.
Metro attempted and failed to make Mr. Haile the scapegoat of the L’Enfant Plaza incident when they fired him. As written in yesterday’s Washington Post article, Metro managers and arbitrators have both acknowledged that Mr. Haile was not responsible for the death and injuries that occurred, and that is a fact.
We look forward to Metro honoring its legal obligation to bring Mr. Haile back to work without continuing an unnecessary legal challenge that will only waste the money of tax payers and the riding public. The issue is concluded and Metro must obey the law.