Arlington voters will almost certainly approve another bond for Metro this November. Often voters vote for it without a second thought.
The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) is fighting to reinstate the mechanic who was fired for failing to report that the ventilation fan at L’Enfant Plaza was not working properly and later allegedly lying about it to investigators.
One disturbing allegation made by the mechanic is that that supervisors pressured him to falsify his report after the smoke incident at the stop. One has to ask, did Metro look into these allegations, have the supervisors in question been admonished in any way, and what steps have been taken to ensure there is no temptation to engage in a cover up in the future?
Those questions aside, ATU is suing in federal court for wrongful termination and to have an arbitrator’s ruling upheld that would require Metro to reinstate the mechanic. Last week, Metro filed a counter suit to vacate the arbitrator’s ruling.
The union contract has long appeared to be a substantial impediment to Metro’s ability to move forward. Not only has the union locked in pay scales and overtime provisions, but also makes it extremely difficult to make necessary workforce adjustments as Metro faces ongoing financial strain. Or in this case, seemingly is making it next to impossible to fire employees for cause.
This legal proceeding will put the union contract to the test and may answer the question of what’s more important, a union contract or rider safety?
If a judge finds Metro can fire this mechanic, then the precedent will be set that Metro has the authority to hold union employees accountable and everyone will be put on notice. If the court rules for the union, Metro will be essentially powerless to truly make rider safety a priority.
If the court sides with the union, it may be time to revisit the issue of whether Metro should be dissolved so it can start over.
The University of Virginia is expanding its footprint in Northern Virginia, including its Rosslyn campus. The university currently operates a satellite location of its Darden School of Business in the…
A local park with a popular playground keeps getting vandalized, this time with obscene language and drawings.
From flash floods in Arlington to wildfires on the West Coast, climate change is an increasing threat to life and property. This is not a future problem, but a current crisis. We have only a few years to reverse human-made emissions.
Plans from a local affordable housing nonprofit to redevelop apartments in the Fort Myer Heights neighborhood, near Rosslyn are ready for county and public review.