Metro, Union Leaders Meet Amid Strike Threat

Alan Wade Coleman
Gainesville Police

Leaders of Metro's largest union have met with Metro officials in the first meeting since workers overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike, but little appears to have been resolved. 

Officials with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority met with leaders of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 at a secret location on Tuesday, following the union's vote Sunday. Striking is forbidden under Metro's bargaining agreement with the union, but workers have been without a contract since July 2016. 

Union spokesman David Stephen said in a statement that there was "no change in either part's position." WMATA released a statement calling the meeting "a constructive and frank discussion." 

The two sides plan to meet again Wednesday. 

A strike would likely cripple the system and force rail and bus riders to find alternate ways of getting around. 

"This is about the person that we work for. This is about the company that we work for. It is not against the public. Unfortunately, it is a transportation system so the public is affected. But it is not against the public," union leader Jackie Jeter said.

The workers have been without a contract since July 2016. 

The transit system carries about 1 million passengers daily.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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