WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The bus drivers for the DC Circulator, who are hired by RATP Dev, will go on strike, on May 3, over a lack of progress in contract discussions and unfair labor practices. They will remain on strike until an agreement is reached.
“RATP Dev left us with no other options but to walk off the job at the DC Circulator,” said ATU Local 689 President Raymond Jackson. “We encourage commuters to seek other forms of public transportation throughout the city. After months of negotiations, it has become clear that RATP Dev has been negotiating in bad faith, committing multiple unfair labor practice (ULP) violations in the process.”
RATP Dev sent a “final offer” to Local 689 on May 1st, threatening to replace the members with subcontractors, eliminating workers’ federal rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act, and damaging the concept of progressive discipline. RATP Dev made its first real salary movement in nearly two months of bargaining in the same proposal, but it still failed to appropriately address years of underpayment and inflation. The Local 689 claims that they cannot and will never accept RATP Dev’s proposals, and RATP Dev is well aware of this.
“This company will only realize the true value of its workforce when they don’t show up to work,” Jackson continued. “RATP Dev can’t drive these buses. McMahon Berger, their union-busting law firm, can’t drive these buses. Our members know that they’re the ones that help keep this region moving.”
According to The Local, RATP Dev will attempt to put working people in this area against one another. There is a very simple approach for anyone who will be impacted to help hold RATP Dev accountable and stop this strike as quickly as possible. The Local is urging members of the public to contact their elected officials and urge them to put pressure on RATP Dev to accept the union’s demands and reopen the DC Circulator.
“Our Union and our members at Local 689 are fed up with the disrespect RATP Dev has shown them. We’ve been down this road before in the DC area with strikes. Our members will again stand strong and united,” said ATU International President John Costa. “It’s time for the company to get back to the table to give these frontline bus operators, who have been risking their lives to keep their communities moving since the pandemic began, a contract that treats them like the heroes they are.”