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ATU Local 689 DC Circulator Bus Operators Ratify Contract, Ending Strike

Forestville, Maryland – After a unified and strong three-day strike, ATU Local 689-Washington, DC, bus operators for the DC Circulator voted overwhelmingly to approve a collective bargaining agreement with RATP Dev. Over 150 workers walked off the job on May 3rd after two intense months of negotiations, shutting down Circulator transportation in the city for three days.

“This is a great day for Local 689,” said Local 689 President Raymond Jackson. “This strike showed the power of fighting for our rights. Local 689 DC Circulator members did what we do best and won. Transit agencies across the country are now on notice. Public transit contractors cannot continue to make cuts on the backs of workers and riders. I’m proud of our members for standing strong and standing together. After months of negotiations, this contract recognizes our members for the heroes they truly are.”

The new three-year contract with RATP Dev includes health care improvements, better retirement benefits, and substantial wage increases. Starting pay is raised over 25% immediately to address the bus operator shortage. Operators at top pay will receive 18.5% increases over the course of the contract. Retirement was changed from an employer match system to a direct employer contribution to member's 401(k). The workers successfully fought company language that would have outsourced Local 689 members’ jobs as well as eliminating workers’ federal rights under the Family & Medical Leave Act.

“I am proud of our DC Circulator bus operators. When I visited the picket line, I saw firsthand their strength, unity, and solidarity throughout their strike and over the last few months of their contract fight,” said ATU International President John Costa. “The result was a strong contract that recognizes the commitment and dedication of these frontline heroes to provide safe and reliable transportation for the people of DC. Finally, the DC Circulator can address the shortage of bus operators by providing competitive wages and benefits. Thank you to all the workers and our allies who showed up on the line or called your elected officials to tell RATP Dev to accept the union’s proposals to get the DC Circulator up and running again. It was an honor to hold the line with you.”