Media Center

Nov 13

ATU: It's About Time Transdev, Now Bargain in Good Faith

After disappearing for eleven straight days and repeated requests by ATU Local 689 to negotiate, WMATA’s private contractor Transdev has finally agreed to return to the bargaining table at Cinder Bed Road Bus Garage.

Local 689 and Transdev will reconvene negotiations on Wednesday, November 20, and Thursday, November 21st, and be joined by a federal mediator.

“Our members at WMATA’s Cinder Bed Road Bus Garage have now been on strike for 21 days. That’s 21 days of rationing their children’s medication, enduring rain and sleet, picketing in temperatures that ran as low as 30 and as high as 80 degrees,” said Raymond Jackson, President and Business Agent of Local 689.  “They remain strong and united on the picket lines despite Transdev stripping away their healthcare while paying scabs higher wages than they’ll ever agree to pay the workers who helped them launch this facility a year ago. Meanwhile, WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld has refused to take responsibility for the actions of the private company that he hired, failing to fine them millions of dollars for the service they have failed to deliver as laid out in their contract.”

Throughout the strike, Transdev has only made time to negotiate with the union for a grand total of five days. That means that 76% of the time on strike, Transdev has been missing in action.

“We hope that this time Transdev will stay at the table until a tentative agreement that is fair and just is reached,” said ATU International President John Costa. “Our members care about our riders. Thousands of Metrobus riders have been left stranded and their commutes have doubled in length and cost. It's time for Transdev to bargain in good faith.”

Transdev coming back to the bargaining table at Cinder Bed Road Bus Garage comes days after Transdev workers at Fairfax Connector overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike if necessary. Their contract expires on November 30, 2019.

“If Transdev walks away again we demand that the WMATA Board and GM Wiedefeld compel the company to stay at the table until we reach an agreement,” Jackson continued.  “That means passing a Board resolution demanding its return, enforcing the revenue agreement with Transdev, subjecting it to KPI credits as laid out in the scope of work, or, if necessary, cancelling the contract with Transdev altogether.

“These are Metrobus vehicles, with Metro logos, in a facility built with Metro funds, operated by a foreign company with a multi-million dollar Metro contract,” Jackson continued. “This strike is the direct result of decisions made by Wiedefeld with the consent of the Metro Board. If Transdev abandons negotiations again, ATU Local 689 will be prepared to hold WMATA, the Board and Wiedefeld accountable.”