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Metro Workers Fired, Union Screeches

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.

The result?

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!

trainShouldn’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.

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10 responses

  1. I think, and I could be wrong, that any position that is supposed to protect people, like track inspector, should NOT be a union job. The union does not give a damn about public safety, only about their dues-paying members.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I suggest firing them AND sentencing them to several years confinement on the trains.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is strange. Washington and the WDC area never had anything in the way of public transportation until the Metro was rammed down the throats of the public. New York City’s transit system is over 100 years old, as is Chicago’s in-town and suburban system. No pubic transit system has a sparkling clean record but NYC and Chicago are fairly good. I know the Metra employees are very careful people. You simply can’t fight a 28-ton locomotive. My inbound morning ride was sometimes delayed because of a problem ahead on the rails.

    I have wished, many times, that the passenger rail lines between my home town and Chicago had not been eliminated in the 1970s, because it made a car unnecessary, and riding the rails was fun. There used to be passenger lines all over the country, and then airlines got their shorts in a wad and took over that kind of transportation, saying it was safer (not) and faster (yes), but it certainly was not EVER as much fun as a train ride.

    There is no public transit that is 100% safe. But there is NO excuse for sloppiness. Yeah, those union employees should stay fired and frankly, I think the union should be sued out of existence by way of a class action suit. Just my personal opinion.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Back in early industrialized America, most industry was run by the robber barons. People worked slave hours for slave wages. Unions came along and organized the workers and the age of the robber barons came to a end. They were responsible for the 40 hour week and fair pay for a fair days work. Time marches on. As a child in the 50’s and 60’s, I remember my Dad being in the union at GM in Flint. I also remember him working for 1 dollar a hour at a dairy farm when they were on strike. Loose a couple months work over a nickle a hour. Then in the late 70’s, I took a factory job and had to join the IAMAW union. Dues came out of my check every week and months later, when the layoff came around, I kissed all that money goodbye*. That was the only union job I ever had. I spent the next 19 years in Texas, a right to work state. When I left Texas, it was for another right to work state, Iowa. I swore back in 79, when I got laid off I would never join another union.

    Every one remembers the corrupt teamsters union and Jimmy Hoffa. That’s just one case of corruption. I believe that all unions are corrupt. The leadership doesn’t care about the workers as long as that dues money comes in. The fact that they will go to the mat for slackers and screwups just galls me when people that want to do their jobs are screwed over by way of strikes. The demands the unions make are what has killed a lot of the industry in this Country. It’s hard to blame GM, Ford et al for moving some of their plants to Mexico. It’s hard to justify paying someone $22 a hour to screw lug nuts on. I think it is past time that unions are useful. They all need to go and people can hold a job because they do a good job and impress the bosses.

    *In early 1980, the maintenance department I was laid off from when on a wildcat strike. They ended up firing every one of them. I was working in the Texas oil fields making good money, non-union, so I laughed my ass off.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “It’s not my faaaaault!” So the incompetent workers are invoking the Four-Year-Old-Child defense. Brilliant.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You are praising the inspectors with faint damns. If they had been merely incompetent their inspections would have failed to find the fault that caused the derailment. That was not the case. THEY FALSIFIED THE INSPECTION REPORT. That is criminal scum betraying a sacred trust. People put their lives in their hands and the inspectors lied and caused a derailment that could have killed many. Hang them at the entrance to the inspection department and leave them their on permanent display to encourage the others.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I hope when Trump starts the reins, that he would do the unions that start making actions that endanger the public to do what Regan did with the air control union tried to do, and told the workers get to back to work NOW and do what they can do the job as best as they can, if not, go to the unemployment line.

    Like

  8. This union has done to rail safety what the American Federation of Teachers has done to public education.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I live in Western PA which used to have a thriving coal industry to supply the newly built coal-fired power plants in the early 70s. The coal companies hired a lot of young guys who had no business being hired because they needed men to meet the tremendous demand for coal. The young guys would intentionally call a wildcat strike because they didn’t want to go to work that day and they had already had a bad record of calling off sick. The older miners would reluctantly honor the strike and the mine produced no coal that day because a couple of young idiots wanted to party rather than work. When the companies tried to get rid of these guys the union fought like tigers to keep them. Result: Today there are virtually no union mines here and very few non-union mines. The union helped kill itself. Rich Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO was a previous president. Get the picture. No jobs for miners but Ole Rich sure landed on his feet.
    BTW, Trump carried Western PA (absent Pittsburgh) by a huge margin. Maybe they’re starting to wake up.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Inspections should be done by an impartial third party. Spouse does that for refineries. It’s the only way there is no undo influence.

    Liked by 2 people

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