Maryland MetroAccess workers reach agreement to end contract dispute strike

MetroAccess workers in Maryland have ratified an agreement to end their contract dispute strike after over a week of negotiations.

In a statement, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689, located in Forestville, Maryland, says that its workers reached a tentative contract agreement on Tuesday with public transport company, Transdev. The strike initially started on August 1 after months of intense negotiations.

The contract was later ratified by a 91-percent vote on Thursday.

According to Local 689's statement, the newly agreed upon three year contract will include a substantial wage increase and improved benefits, including better sick leave, improvements to the company's retirement plan, and the addition of more holidays.

The statement says that the company had initially proposed to pay Local 689 workers less than their counterparts in Baltimore.

"I am so proud of our MetroAccess members. When I visited the picket line, I saw firsthand their strength, unity, and solidarity," said ATU International President John Costa. "The result was a strong contract that recognizes the commitment and dedication of these frontline heroes to provide sage and reliable transportation for our seniors, people with disabilities, and others who rely on MetroAccess. Our members now have a pathway to the middle class for the essential public service they provide."

READ MORE: MetroAccess workers strike over contract dispute

Local 689 has over 200 paratransit drivers, utility, dispatchers, maintenance workers, and road supervisors that are used as contractors for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.