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Metro workers rally outside WMATA headquarters

The rally highlights WMATA's 'failed path' toward privatization, and the inability to provide 'family-sustaining middle-class wages.'

WASHINGTON — A rally is being held outside WMATA headquarters in support of a growing Metro strike for Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 members. 

The rally is being held from 12 to 1 p.m. outside of the Jackson Graham Building.

According to a press release, this rally highlights "WMATA's failed path towards privatization and WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld's failure to adequately intervene in the labor dispute and force their contractor, Transdev, to provide family-sustaining middle-class wages."

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The rally includes local elected officials, members of the labor movement, the striking workers and allies.

Workers walked off the job Oct.14 in protest of Transdev's "unfair labor practices," the press release said.

"Transdev, which operates the first privatized Metrobus facility in WMATA history, has been doing everything it can to stall negotiations, keep wages low, and resist ensuring workers have a defined benefit pension like the rest of their Metrobus coworkers," the release said. "They wear the same uniforms and drive the same vehicles. What separates them is simply who signs their paychecks."

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ATU Local 689 includes over 13,000 members and retirees performing jobs within  WMATA, Transdev, MetroAccess, DASH and the D.C. Streetcar, the release said.

In August, OmniRide bus system, a lifeline for thousands of commuters in Northern Virginia, is sclaed back service and shuttering some routes while its drivers strike for better pay in a new contract. 

The system serves Prince William County, including Manassas.

OmniRide drivers were working under a temporary union contract that expired Wednesday. AFSCME Local 3001 rejected a new contract extension that would've kept buses running through September.

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