In addition to the many woes and missteps that have led to questions about its viability, DC Streetcar now stands accused of illegally firing a third of employees in retaliation for union organizing, says the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), which called on WMATA to take over the beleaguered streetcar agency. “Not only have the Streetcar managers failed in almost every aspect of the development of this new system, but they want to muzzle any criticism by their employees whose wages and benefits they seek to suppress,” said ATU President Larry Hanley.
The union says joint Streetcar employers RATP Dev. McDonald Transit and The Midtown Group interfered with their workers’ legal rights through actions that included a mass firing of 7 employees involved in a union organizing drive at the agency. A March 10 election that would have given Streetcar employees the opportunity to accept or reject ATU membership has been postponed until the NLRB completes its investigation of the mass firings. Meanwhile, ATU called on DC Mayor Muriel Bowser “to fire these rogue employers and have WMATA take over the project and bargain a fair contract so these workers can earn a decent living to provide for their families and make this streetcar work,” Hanley said.