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Rail News: Labor

WMATA declares union arbitration award 'generous'


Yesterday, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) board accepted a binding arbitration award that provides Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689 employees an annual 3 percent wage increase for fiscal years 2010 through 2012.

The board will not appeal a U.S. District Court decision in a three-year legal dispute with the union that led to the award, agency officials said in a prepared statement.

“We want to put this matter behind us so that our employees can remain focused on serving our customers, but clearly we regard an award of this magnitude as generous given the extraordinary economic constraints under which our customers and our taxpayers are living,” said WMATA Chairwoman Catherine Hudgins.

The cost to WMATA is estimated to total $96 million in wages, with an additional $8 million projected increase in pension contributions, agency officials said. WMATA had reserved funds consistent with accounting rules, and “therefore this increase will not adversely impact” the budget this year, they said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/5/2011