US Department of Labor Asking Federal Court to Order New Election of Leadership at WMATA's Major Union

The U.S. Department of Labor is asking a federal court to order a new election of union leadership at WMATA's major union, the Local 689 Amalgamated Transit Union.

The agency is questioning the legitimacy of the process used to elect union leaders in December 2015, which re-elected union president Jackie Jeter. The Department of Labor alleges Local 689 failed to allow other candidates a proper opportunity to run for her job.

The Department of Labor, in court filings Tuesday, said Local 689 membership sought and voted to hold a re-election for leadership positions in January 2016, but were denied the opportunity to do so.

The federal government is asking the court to order a re-vote for union leaders, personally supervised by the U.S. labor secretary.

"(The union) failed to conduct its election in accordance with its bylaws and the International constitution when it denied individuals -- including Harry Johnson, Ozzie Andrews, and Glenn Jarret -- who were eligible for candidacy under the Defendant's and the international's bylaws and constitutions the right to be nominated and run for office," U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said in his filing with the court.

Local 689 is based in Forestville, Maryland, and includes 12,000 members, according to background information posted by the union.

The union did not immediately return requests for comment.

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