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Amalgamated Transit Union

10000 New Hampshire Avenue. Silver Spring, MD 20903-1706


(301) 431-7100 Fax (301) 431-7117

Office of the International President


April 24, 2017

The Honorable John Delaney


1632 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative Delaney:

The Amalgamated Transit Union, the largest labor organization representing transit workers in the
U.S., including more than 10,000 members at Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (Local
689), strongly opposes your so-called WMATA Improvement Act of2017(H.R. 1140).
The bill holds hostage hundreds of millions of sorely-needed dollars from WMATA until our
collective bargaining agreement is changed to allow the transit authority to "implement all
necessary operational changes required" and lower costs by outsourcing our work.

This legislation is apparently designed to address cost issues at WMATA, targeting workers'
wages and benefits. Recently, one of our members summoned the courage to speak out publicly
about her very personal experience with one of WMATA's private contractors. She collects fares
in some rough neighborhoods, risking her life to serve elderly and disabled customers who need
extra assistance. Even though she works 13 hour shifts six days a week, due to the incredibly low
wages and benefits offered by WMATA,she only earns $26,000 per year. Washington, D.C. has
an incredibly high cost of living, so rather than paying her directly in her wages, the city provides
her and her daughter with food stamps and public housing. For three months, she was homeless,
but that did not stop her from reporting to work every day, with shifts that begin between 2:00 and
4:00 a.m.

Many of our members in the private sector rely on public assistance to survive. We have thousands
ofindividuals throughout our union just like this young woman who go to great lengths every day
to serve our passengers, simply asking for decent wages and benefits in exchange for a hard day's
work.

How much less should WMATA pay these people? In your estimation, is being homeless and
living on public assistance not a low enough standard of living? What more can workers
give?

According to your online biography, you are the son of a union electrician, and grew up in a blue
collar household. Ironically, if Democratic Members of Congress had passed this type ofinvasive,
heartless, and cruel legislation during your youth, it is likely that unions would have crumbled.
Would you have been able to attend college without your IBEW scholarship?

This bill is in fact among the most outrageous proposals ever put forth by a Democratic Member
of Congress in recent memory. Democrats, who for decades have been the party of Roosevelt and
LBJ, have a proud tradition of standing with workers and the unions which have provided them
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with a solid, middle class lifestyle. When Democrats ignore (or in this case, attack) the working
families who make up the base of their party, the results are clear ~ look no further than the 2016
Elections. Your Democratic colleagues from WMATA's delegation throughout Maryland,
Virginia, and D.C. are obviously well aware ofthis history, and we salute each one ofthem for not
cosponsoring this heinous bill - leaving you exposed as the lone Member of Congress from your
party declaring war on organized labor.

Congress has no business injecting itselfinto collective bargaining matters between outside parties.
Instead, it should be focused on the real issues facing WMATA which are outlined in ATU's
comprehensive proposal. Fund it, Fix it, Make it Fair (attached). We hope you will consider our
ideas to save and improve our Metro system.

Thank you for your consideration of our views.

Sincerely,

L^yen .Tlanley
liit^national President

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Maryland Democratic Party


The Honorable Dutch Ruppersberger
The Honorable John P. Sarbanes
The Honorable Anthony Brown
The Honorable Steny H. Hoyer
The Honorable Elijah Cummings
The Honorable Jamie Raskin
The Honorable Gerry Connolly
The Honorable Don Beyer
The Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton
The Honorable Chris Van Hollen
The Honorable Ben Cardin
The Honorable Mark Warner
The Honorable Tim Kaine
The Honorable Peter DeFazio
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
The Honorable Ben Ray Lujan, DCCC
Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO
Fred Mason, Maryland and D.C. AFL-CIO
Jackie Jeter, ATU Local 689 & D.C. Labor Council
WMATA Democratic Delegation, MD & VA General Assembly
D.C. Council, all members
The Honorable Muriel Bowser