DC Circulator

Circulator Contract Passes with Key Commitments to Workers!

The DC Council passed a $140M, 5-year contract with RAPT Dev for maintenance and operation of the DC Circulator buses. Because of your work in alliance with ATU 1764, a multinational corporation was forced to think about a local workforce’s wages and benefits, DC Council and DDOT had to face the destructive effects of privatization on DC workers and do something about it. The contract and a written letter to the council include assurances that current workers keep their jobs, union representation, and current collective bargaining agreement (including the raises won in 2016). Also, the contractor is required to meet Service Contract Act wages and benefits which could mean workers get raises to be in compliance with this federal law.  Finally, before the vote, multiple councilmembers including Cheh and Nadeau clearly re-affirmed their desire see the Circulator ultimately brought in-house and articulated that the contract could be exited at any time.

Thank you to all of you who attended actions and met with a councilperson over the past year on this subject to stand up for public sector workers. This victory stands in contrast to the Supreme Court’s Janus decision that weakens union power, recent news about the Trump administration’s plan to privatize public infrastructure, and the Koch brothers’ attack on public transit.

The fight is not over. The implementation of this agreement will require consistent oversight by DC Council, the Circulator workers’ collective bargaining agreement expires next year creating an opportunity to push for benefits matching that of a DC government employee, and we need to hold DDOT and our city to bringing the Circulator in-house.

Check out photos and testimony from the June 18th circulator contract hearing.

Learn About the History of Privatization of the Circulator

Take Action by Sharing the Video!

Spread the word! Share our video on Facebook and Twitter. Tag @DDOTDC, @DCCirculator, and use the hashtag #FairTransitDC to support quality PUBLIC transit, good jobs and to stand against race-to-the-bottom companies profiting off our tax dollars!

 

Kewana Battle-Mason, DC Circulator Worker, ATU Local 1764 Speaking at the October 2017 Downtown Transit Action

Learn more about the Transit Campaign!

BACKGROUND 
The Washington Interfaith Network is standing in solidarity with the Amalgamated Transit Union members at the DC Circulator, DC Street Car and Metro.
STAND UP FOR QUALITY PUBLIC TRANSIT SERVICE 
We want public transit to be PUBLIC.  Private for profit corporations have failed to provide good service at the Circulator.  Under the current company – First Transit a 2015 safety audit of the DC Circulator found only 2, of the 42 buses inspected, fit to drive. Putting the public and bus operators at risk. We have examined the horrible track record of the other private companies profiting off of public transit in the DC Region and around the country.  Click here to learn more http://ddotcandobetter.com
STAND UP FOR GOOD JOBS
No bus or train operator or mechanic who provides a tax payer public service should struggle to make ends meet.  Private for-profit contractors compete with one another to provide the cheapest bids, cutting wages and benefits for their workers.
DC Circulator 
Together we organized to ensure DC Government made First Transit pay middle class wages at the DC Circulator.
But now DDOT is contemplating bringing in another company but DDOT has not made any guarantees that the new company won’t lay off the current DC Circulator bus operators and mechanics.  DDOT has not made any guarantees that the wage rates WIN helped organize for will stay in place.  Nor are there any guarantees that DC Circulator operators will have any measure of retirement security, or quality health benefits, or union protections.  DDOT can do better.
DC Street Car
WIN is also organizing for fair benefits for the men and women who operate and maintain the street car.  The  wiwith no guarantees DDOT will make the next company pay  that would force the operators to start back at the beginning
WIN is also organizing in alliance with workers at the DC Street Car – who labor under a Paris-based multinational corporation- RDMT.  Until recently RDMT provided health insurance so bad that workers had to pay 80% of their medical bills out of pocket.  The health insurance is still not up to the level befitting a public servant.  The retirement benefits are a joke, and don’t provide any measure of retirement security. DDOT can do better.
Metro / WMATA 
Now Metro is contemplating privatizing bus service for the first time in its 40 year history.  WIN wants to see our public officials stand up to private for-profit companies, and stand up against privatization of our public transit.
SCRUTINIZE THE RECORDS OF FOR-PROFIT TRANSIT COMPANIES 
The voters and taxpayers should be able to examine the track records of the companies that are bidding to profit off of public transit contracts.  To date, the DC Department of Transportation will not release information about which companies are bidding to profit off of the DC Circulator.

For more information check out our Transit Privatization Fact Sheet

Flynn “Tiny” Burke of the DC Circulator Outside Union Station in 2015