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Rail News: Labor

WMATA announces two labor agreements

One agreement provides higher wages in exchange for increases in employee contributions to health care.
Photo – WMATA/Larry Levine


The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and the AFL-CIO's Office of Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 2 have reached an agreement that provides wage increases in exchange for increases in employee contributions to health care.

Union members ratified the new five-year contract last week. WMATA's board will take up the new agreement in September, agency officials said in a press release.

WMATA expects to reduce its health care costs by about $2.3 million over the term of the contract.

"As with any constructive negotiation, we didn't get everything we hoped for and neither did Local 2; however, this agreement fairly compensates employees while reducing Metro's costs," said General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul Wiedefeld.

Meanwhile, WMATA agreed to return 33 of 271 custodial employees to their 2017 work locations after the ATU-Local 689 dismissed its grievances and a related lawsuit.

The agreement enables management to continue assigning WMATA employees for custodial work in rail stations while using contractors for non-public facilities, agency officials said in a news release.

In June, WMATA decided to shift all of the union custodians to work in rail stations — a move that played a role in ATU members' decision to authorize a strike earlier this month, radio station WTOP reported.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/31/2018