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MetroAccess Operations Control Center Workers Vote to Authorize Strike If Necessary, Over Unfair Labor Practices by Employer MV Transportation

Hyattsville, MD – Fed up with unfair labor practices and poor treatment by their employer MV Transportation, ATU Local 689 members working at the MetroAccess Call Center in Hyattsville voted overwhelmingly in favor of authorizing a strike if necessary.

WMATA contracts with MV Transportation, a private corporation, to provide dispatch, reservation, and scheduling of all MetroAccess paratransit services. 

Despite working through a pandemic for more than a year on an expired contract, MetroAccess Call Center workers were offered a meager 1% wage increase by MV transportation. The union reports that morale is plummeting, with turnover at near 100% and call outs so common that it’s making an already bad system worse for riders with disabilities who rely on MetroAccess as a lifeline. MV Transportation has repeatedly committed unfair labor practice violations, allegations for which have been filed with the National Labor Relations Board. 

Negotiations resume Tuesday, May 11th and Friday, May 14th.

“MV workers at the MetroAccess Call Center have been abused and underpaid for more than a decade,” said John Costa, International President of the Amalgamated Transit Union. “The only client MV cares about is the one that writes its check, WMATA, and WMATA apparently doesn’t care about riders with disabilities or the workers they rely on. If it did, there wouldn’t be a private contractor here in the first place. They’re standing united and sending a strong message to WMATA and MV that they demand respect and a fair contract.”  

The MetroAccess Call Center workers voted by a margin of 97% to authorize the strike, with some members even driving in to work on their day off to make sure they had a chance to vote.

Transit workers across this region have been organizing for years to chase out bad-faith, low-bid private contractors that profit at the expense of transit workers and the riding public. Since 2019, transit workers in this region have been forced to strike multiple times, including the Fairfax Connector, Omniride, and the 85-day long WMATA Cinder Bed Bus Garage strike that ended with WMATA agreeing to end privatization in the Metrobus and Metrorail systems.  

“As ATU showed during strikes at Fairfax Connector and Cinder Bed Road, this is about the future of public transportation in this region. We can’t allow these private multinational companies who break the law to put profit first while exploiting riders and workers and cutting corners on safety and service,” Costa continued.

ATU Local 689 is comprised of more than 13,000 members and retirees performing occupations within the many skilled transportation crafts for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), MetroAccess, DASH, and the DC Circulator and Streetcar among others. A member of the Amalgamated Transit Union (AFL-CIO/CLC), the largest labor organization representing transit workers in the United States and Canada.