D.C. Circulator driver union agrees to new contract, ending three-day strike

Media Credit: File Photo by Dean Whitelaw

D.C. Circulator operators approved the new contract, which included a nearly six-dollar wage hike, with "overwhelming" support.

The D.C. Circulator transit union representing more than 150 drivers approved a new contract Thursday with their multinational employer, RATP Dev USA, ending a three-day driver strike for better wages and working conditions.

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 and RATP Dev USA agreed on an amended three-year contract raising the hourly wage for D.C. Circulator operators from $18.54 to $24.50 and adding personal provider organizations as an available health insurance benefit.

The new contract, which was approved with “overwhelming” support by the operators, also caps the number of early-morning and late-day shifts operators can work and declared Juneteenth a paid holiday.

RATP Dev said full bus operations will resume Friday after the strike, during which riders waited for buses that never appeared due to less than 5 percent of D.C. Circulator buses being in service.

Raymond Jackson, the president of ATU Local 689, said the new contract recognizes union members as “heroes” for the work they put in during the strike and the following negotiations.

“This strike showed the power of workers fighting for our rights,” Jackson said in a statement after the Thursday evening ratification. “Local 689 D.C. Circulator members did what we do best and won.”

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