Metro Warns of Fourth of July Delays Amid 'Unauthorized Labor Action' - NBC4 Washington

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Metro Warns of Fourth of July Delays Amid 'Unauthorized Labor Action'

Trains and buses appeared to be running on schedule

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Metro Warns of Fourth of July Delays Amid 'Unauthorized Labor Action'
    File photo

    What to Know

    • Metro is warning of potential train and bus delays on the Fourth of July because of an "unauthorized labor action" by workers.

    • Trains and buses appeared to be running on schedule as of Wednesday evening.

    • The transit union says the action is not officially sponsored or organized by the union.

    D.C. Metro officials are warning of potential Metrorail and Metrobus delays on the Fourth of July because of an "unauthorized labor action" by employees.

    A Metro spokeswoman said employees are showing up late to work on Wednesday because of a labor dispute.

    Thirty percent of railcar mechanics, 25 percent of station managers, 25 percent of bus operators and 16 percent of train operators had showed up late to work as of mid-afternoon Wednesday, the spokeswoman said. Qualified managers are covering for their workers whenever possible.

    Trains and buses appeared to be running on schedule as of Wednesday evening. No status alerts warning of delayed trains or buses were in effect.

    The transit union, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, said the labor action on Wednesday is not officially sponsored or organized by the union.

    "Frontline members are reacting today to frustration with the WMATA General Manager [and] the arbitration of contract issues, including absentee policy and criminal background checks," the union said in an initial statement.

    In a second statement, ATU Local 689 lashed out against Metro and General Manager Paul Wiedefeld. 

    "The front-line workers of WMATA are fed up with the mistreatment and disrespect they continue to experience from the General Manager Paul Wiedefeld and Metro’s management," the statement says.

    "Employees are being required to work overtime while being treated like disregarded workers as if Wiedefeld himself is moving thousands on one of Metro's busiest days," the statement continues. "He is not transporting anyone, the front-line workers he continues to disrespect are! The general manager could resolve the unrest among Metro’s workforce if leadership stopped holding its workforce in contempt and bargained with our members through their union in good faith. We hope that Wiedefeld and his leadership team will do so."

    Last month, Metro filed a lawsuit against the union in a dispute about new criminal background checks of rail and bus workers. The union had been challenging Metro's system of performing criminal background checks, which the union said would result in the removal of "quite a few" workers.

    Metro apologized to customers for any delays that may occur over the course of the holiday.

    "Management is doing everything possible to continue to minimize delays to customers, as well as to ensure compliance with WMATA’s collective bargaining agreement, including seeking legal remedies through the courts," the transit agency said in a statement.

    Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story. 

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