“For nearly two years we have tried to sit at the table and bargain with Paul Wiedefeld and his team in good faith,” said Local 689 President Jackie Jeter. “He has refused to bargain with us at every turn and continues to violate our negotiated contract. Instead, he is choosing to arbitrate issues that are already decided, along with issues negotiated and bargained in the past. We refuse to allow anyone at WMATA to make us afraid, intimidated, or bullied, so it is time for him to go.”
The relationship between ATU Local 689 and Paul Wiedefeld has been rocky nearly since the beginning of his tenure with the Authority. On April 27, 2017, more than 700 Local 689 members rallied outside WMATA’s headquarters while more than 100 packed the WMATA Board room during their meeting and presented Wiedefeld with nearly 1,000 member petitions demanding that he bargain with his workers in good faith after months of no progress.
The current petition (here) calls out Wiedefeld and his team for “trampling” on the Congressional Compact and Collective Bargaining Agreement, ignoring court orders to negotiate and reinstate employees, and contracting out work.
“The employee morale at WMATA is at an all-time low, and I have seen more than 700 employees leave the system since he got here. I have never seen numbers like that,” Jeter continued. “Every job eliminated or vacated has been filled with substandard contractors who are working below WMATA standards and without benefits. The riders and workers of this region deserve leadership that is going to move our transit system forward. All Paul Wiedefeld has done is make the system unstable and drive riders away. It is time for him to go.”
Elected officers from ATU Local 689 will continue distributing the petition this week and will present it to the WMATA board later this month.