Back in 2012, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) outsourced the daily operations of the streetcar to the French Company RDMT/McDonald Transit, which was awarded a five-year $22 million contract of DC tax payer dollars. According to the contract between DDOT and RDMT/Mcdonald Transit, the Streetcar was supposed to open for service in 2013. Then the date was moved to the beginning of 2014...Then November of 2014…Then the beginning of 2015. Now, no one knows when it is opening and some are estimating it may not open before the late spring of 2016 or not at all!
Earlier this summer, Mayor Bowser requested, and was granted by DC Council, a raise in the contract ceiling for McDonald Transit by another $5.5 million. Our International President Larry Hanley called it, “A callous disregard for the concerns of residents and the rights of workers.” ATU believes that before a single additional dollar is released to RDMT/McDonald Transit, Mayor Bowser, the DC Council, and DDOT need to rein in these companies, get the streetcar operational, and ensure this company—or any private operator—is fit to continue overseeing this project in the District without intimidating workers who want to stand together and join a union.
The case of the fired DC Streetcar workers should concern everyone, and especially us at Local 689. In addition to blowing every deadline imaginable at great cost to taxpayers, McDonald has now wasted more public dollars training competent, dedicated Washingtonians only to fire them for practicing their legally-protected right to form a union. This is an attack on us! We must stand with them and continue to get involved. If you have not signed the petition, log on to our website or call the union hall. The workforce of the DC Streetcar needs us and we need them!