Washington DC

DC Circulator Bus Drivers Go on Strike

NBC Universal, Inc.

Drivers who run the Circulator buses in Washington, D.C., went on strike Tuesday as negotiations faltered between the workers’ union and their company.

The union says the drivers will stay out until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached with RATP Dev, the French company that manages the Circulator buses.

RATP Dev says the union rejected an offer to extend the current bargaining agreement.

The District Department of Transportation has said a strike would severely limit Circulator service, but it wouldn't completely shut it down.

DDOT says anyone who uses the Circulator should check for delays ahead of time. Metrobuses are not part of the strike.

Raymond Jackson, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, says both sides are approaching an agreement on compensation. However, drivers oppose the company’s positions on issues including family medical leave and using contractors, Jackson said.

“They’ve put things in the contract that no union could accept,” Jackson told News4.

Members of the union gathered early Tuesday to picket outside the Circulator headquarters in Northeast D.C. and other sites.

The two sides agreed to a 30-day contract extension in April, but that expired over the weekend. RATP says the union declined another stopgap agreement.

“The company proposed to extend the term of the parties’ current collective bargaining agreement beyond April 30, 2022, but ATU Local 689 rejected the company’s offer to avoid a strike,” RATP Dev said.

Negotiations are set to resume Wednesday.

The company did not immediately respond to News4’s request for further comment.

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