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Local 689 MetroAccess Members Take on Transdev and Win

After a unified and strong nine-day strike, Local 689-Washington, DC, MetroAccess workers overwhelmingly voted to approve a strong contract agreement with private contractor Transdev. The more than 200 paratransit drivers, utility workers, dispatchers, maintenance workers, and road supervisors walked off the job on August 1st after months of intense and stalled negotiations. 

On day nine, ATU International President John Costa joined over 150 strikers, elected officials, disability advocates, and other supporters at a rally outside of contract talks at the Local Union Hall. As Transdev negotiators walked past the rally to bargaining, Costa called on them to give members the contract they deserve. After the rally, the workers packed the negotiations room as both sides began to bargain.


Contract Sets the Standard in the Region

“Our members overwhelmingly voted for a contract they can be proud of,” said Local 689 President Raymond Jackson. “Because they went out on strike and stood together, they now have a contract that sets the standard in this region. We were out there for nine days to drive home a point that we will not be disrespected, that our lives and our livelihoods matter. Now it’s time to get back to work to provide essential services for the people who rely on this important transportation.”

The new three-year contract with Transdev includes substantial wage increases and improved benefits, including better sick leave, a more secure retirement plan, additional holidays, and other improvements.

“We must still address the issue of privatization of our most vital services like paratransit,” Jackson continued. “WMATA needs to reconsider its relationship with private contractors. It’s not working, and transit workers and riders are being left behind.”

Last year, Local 689 MV Call Center workers went on a one-day strike and successfully won a fair contract that helped improve their wages, benefits, and rights on the job. The Local believes privatization is a misguided approach to public transit, especially for vital services like MetroAccess.


Together We Fought, Together We Won

“I am so proud of our MetroAccess members. When I visited the picket line, I saw firsthand their strength, unity, and solidarity,” said ATU International President Costa. “They shouldn’t have had to go out on strike in the first place. Transdev should have given these workers a fair deal months ago. Instead, they were forced to go out on strike in the brutal heat, some with children. Thankfully our members are strong and handled this strike like the heroes that they are. The result was a strong contract that recognizes these frontline heroes’ commitment and dedication to providing safe and reliable transportation for our seniors, people with disabilities, and others who rely on MetroAccess. Our members now have a pathway to the middle class for the essential public service they provide. It was an honor to hold the line with you. Together we fought, and together we won!”