In late July – on the day I had ankle surgery, in fact – a Silver Line train derailed at East Falls Church. Luckily, no serious injuries occurred when the train jumped the tracks, but thousands were delayed that day, hundreds more were shaken up, and Metro launched an investigation into the incident.
Metro has fired six employees following an investigation of the July 29 derailment of a Silver Line train outside East Falls Church, and six more terminations or suspensions are pending, the agency said, after an internal review determined workers had falsified track inspection records.
The transit agency said it has taken disciplinary action against 28 people since the incident occurred, representing “nearly half of the track inspection department,” General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld said. The department consists of about 60 people. After the incident, Metro opened a police investigation into the actions leading up to the derailment. No arrests have been made, but prosecutors have been briefed on the findings and are “taking the matter under advisement,” Metro said.
“The internal review determined that certain employees in the track department falsified track inspection records,” Wiedefeld said. “I want the board, our employees and our customers to know that this review revealed a disturbing level of indifference, lack of accountability and flagrant misconduct in a portion of Metro’s track department, which is completely intolerable. Further, it is reprehensible that any supervisor or mid-level manager would tolerate or encourage this behavior, or seek to retaliate against those who objected.”
So it looks like Metro knew of the flaws in the tracks for over a year, according to this report. Apparently, when the National Transportation Safety Board interviewed Metro officials, transcripts suggested Metro officials believed inspectors may have falsified inspection records for up to three years. And yet, the corrupt monkeys who were falsifying inspection records were allowed to continue operating with impunity…
…until the derailment.
The proactive thing to do would have been to fix the tracks when the flaws were discovered. The reactive thing, which is what Metro is doing, is to go on a firing spree.
Not that these fuckwits don’t deserve to be fired!
The union rep is particularly odious. “It’s not the workers’ faaaaaault! They weren’t given proper traiiiiiining! It’s all the leeeeeeadership’s faaaaault!”
Jackie Jeter, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, said after the announcement that the union will conduct a separate investigation into the circumstances that led to the firings — and if she decides they were unjustified, she said, the union will probably fight the terminations.
Jeter said that she believes Metro management may be placing the blame on individual workers who never received the training or instruction to properly perform their jobs.
“What they’ve done is not necessarily falsification. … There are a lot of nuances here,” Jeter said. “If someone actually went out and falsified the work that they do, then that’s one thing. If there is a culture of how they report, and what they’re told to do … that’s something else.”
There’s no nuance. You had barely literate halfwits doing track inspections falsifying reports, and she’s claiming they were essentially too stupid to know there was something wrong with the tracks, because that’s how they always did things!
Shouldn’t employees hired to do a job as important as track safety inspections at least know when there’s… you know… something wrong with the tracks???
And if they didn’t know something was wrong with the tracks (which apparently is not true, based on the fact that Metro officials knew for more than a year about the problem, and on the fact that the Metro safety officer Robert Davis in an interview with an inspector who had been overseeing the crossover near East Falls Church in early August literally asked him about inconsistencies and false claims in his report), should they have been doing that job in the first place?
Oh, I forgot. They can’t be fired, because the union will scream bloody murder! After all, they don’t care about passenger safety or comfort. They care about protecting the jobs of well paid, incompetent, cock goblins and will sue to ensure the barely literate dick weasels stay on their jobs, despite their galling ineptitude and outright fraud.
And that’s precisely what the president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 is threatening to do. The person who called the bungling monkeys who falsified inspection records too stupid to know what they were doing, said the union would fight their terminations after it investigates the circumstances that led to the dismissals.
Because it’s not the track inspectors’ fault that they had no idea what the hell they were doing in a job they were hired to do ostensibly based on their skills and knowledge! Because that’s what they’ve always done.
This union needs to go. Before someone else dies thanks to Metro’s fraud, corruption, and incompetence. As does every single manager, supervisor, and inspector involved in this shady business.
This is what you have when an agency is unaccountable, ruled by a corrupt union, and fed by benefits that give federal workers extra money to ride public transportation, incentivizing continued use of an unsafe and broken transportation system.
I’m thrilled the barely coherent, incompetent weasels are facing consequences, but a part of me wonders if it’s too little, too late.