Workers at the D.C. Streetcar voted overwhelmingly on Friday to join Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689, which already represents more than 10,000 WMATA Metrorail, Metrobus, and MetroAccess employees in the region.
The successful vote comes less than a week after the beleaguered streetcar began carrying passengers and just months after the National Labor Relations Board ruled that private District Department of Transportation (DDOT) contractors RDMT/McDonald Transit and Midtown Group engaged in unlawful anti-union activity, including threatening, intimidating, and interrogating workers who wanted to join a union. Union organizers say that in the days leading up to Friday's vote, RDMT and Midtown distributed anti-union materials in a desperate attempt to dissuade employees, including leaflets attacking ATU Local 689 President Jackie Jeter, recently nominated as the next President of the Metro Washington Council. "I applaud the courageous workers at the D.C. Streetcar, who stood up today and won a more democratic workplace in the face of despicable attacks by their employer," said ATU President Larry Hanley. "Now, we call on Mayor Bowser to remove these law-breaking, union-busting contractors, make streetcar workers public employees, and bargain a fair contract with them and their representatives at Local 689."