Metro Loses Wages Fight With Union

By WAMU 88.5
|  Friday, Aug 5, 2011  |  Updated 3:00 PM EDT
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Metro Loses Wages Fight With Union

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Metro will be paying more than $100 million in back wages and pensions to unionized employees. The awards are the result of a three-year-long fight between the agency and one of its employees' unions.

Metro's board of directors has decided not to appeal a federal judge's decision that gives Metro employees that are part of the Amalgamated Transit Local 689 a pay raise.

Last month, a judge upheld an arbitrator's decision that awarded 3 percent raises for each of the last three years to more than 10,000 unionized employees.

Yesterday, the board reluctantly decided to end their three-year-long fight and accept the judge's ruling.

“We strongly disagree and were dismayed to learn the Court's perspective that wage increases are easily absorbed by our riders and stakeholders, a view we do not share,” Metro Board Chair Catherine Hudgins said in a statement, calling the increases "unsustainable."

The chair of Metro's board says the decision will cost the agency $96 million, plus $8 million for pensions. Metro has set aside money to pay for the increase.

Board member Tom Bulger also skewered the increases, saying they won't be sustainable unless Metro can get "money from the tooth fairy."

Listen to the complete story at wamu.org

Copyright 2011 WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio. All Rights Reserved.

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