NEW: Arlington Transit workers vote to join transit union

An Arlington Transit bus in Clarendon in 2019 (staff photo)

Arlington Transit workers have overwhelmingly voted to join the same union as their Metro counterparts.

ATU Local 689 announced this morning that 99% of workers — including bus drivers, technicians and cleaners — voted to join the union last month. More, below, from a press release.

(Forestville, Maryland) April 2, 2024 – ATU Local 689 is pleased to welcome Arlington Regional Transit (ART) workers to their ranks after 99% of workers voted in favor of being represented by the Union in a vote held Friday, March 22nd. ART workers who participated in the election included: bus operators, mechanics, LMNT/Fuel Island attendants, technicians in charge, and cleaners. The workers are employed by Transdev, who is currently contracted to operate the system for the county.

“On behalf of Local 689, congratulations to the ART workers on their election victory and welcome to our family,” said ATU Local 689 President Raymond Jackson. “Local 689 will continue to fight to ensure that every transit worker in our region has fair wages, strong benefits, and protections on the job so that they can support their families and be treated with dignity for the hard work they perform every day to move our region.”

The Union is engaged in conversations with Trandsev to lay the groundwork for negotiations over a collective bargaining agreement, and expects the negotiations will begin later this year.

ATU Local 689 represents workers at WMATA, MetroAccess, Fairfax Connector, DASH, Loudoun County Transit, DC Circulator and more.

Last month, the union voted to ratify a new contract with Transdev, ending a strike that shut down Fairfax Connector service for just over two weeks. Now it will be negotiating with the same company, but on behalf of the ART workers it also employs.

In its current budget process, Arlington County is considering reducing some low-performing ART bus routes in North Arlington. In years past, Arlington saved money by replacing local Metrobus routes with ART bus service, as the latter cost less to operate.