DC Circulator strike ends, bus service to continue Friday

The DC Circulator strike is over, according to a press release from the local union that organized it.

ATU Local 689 announced on Thursday that it had voted “overwhelmingly” to approve a collective bargaining agreement with RATP Dev, which will result in the resumption of normal bus service on Friday.

ATU Local 689 President Raymond Jackson called it a “big day” for the union, which represents nearly all DC Circulator drivers.

“This strike has shown the power of workers fighting for our rights,” he said in a statement. “Members of DC Circulator Local 689 did what we do best and won. Transit agencies across the country are now on notice. Transit contractors can’t keep making cuts behind the backs of workers and users. I am proud of our members for their firmness and solidarity. After months of negotiations, this contract recognizes our members for the heroes that they truly are.

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After two months of denials, more than 150 workers walked off the job on March 3, shutting down Circulator transportation in the city for three days.

The new three-year contract with RATP Dev – the company that won the contract to manage the District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) bus system in 2018 – includes health care improvements, better pension benefits and substantial salary increases.

The starting salary is increased by over 25% immediately to address the shortage of bus operators. Operators who receive the highest salary will receive an increase of approximately 18.5% over the term of the contract.

Retirement has moved from an employer matched system to a direct employer contribution to a member’s 401(k). Workers fought company language that would have outsourced the jobs of Local 689 members and removed federal workers’ rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

RATP Dev sent the following statement to FOX 5:

“To our loyal customers, we recognize the inconvenience caused by the service interruption. As we resume normal operations, we will continue to strive to provide the best possible service on all routes and will continue to welcome your feedback on how we can improve your DC Circulator Experience.”

Stacy Winsett, Chief People Officer of RATP Dev USA, said, “We are grateful for all the hard work and time that has been put in from both sides to reach this agreement. We’re glad this was resolved quickly and look forward to getting back to business. to serve our customers in the DC metro area.”

Melvin Z. Madore