Thursday, October 15, 2009

Jeter to Passengers: ___________

"Now is the time for us to protect ourselves and our jobs!"

When Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 president Jackie Lynn Jeter called for the work-to-rule action, she seems to have forgotten a small detail.

If this really is about safety, doesn't she also want to protect us, the passengers and pedestrians?

Is she incapable of envisioning something bigger--a safe system for all--including the people who ride the system and pay union members' salaries?

Who's writing her material?

Do you think this whole "by the book" thing is really about safety?

Why can't a transit system operate by the book AND be on time?

Jeter has inserted foot in mouth before. Remember some of her other greatest hits: "Lucky to be alive" and "Bargaining no matter what"

More insight into Local 689

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Anonymous said...

Considering that I came within inches of being mowed down by a metrobus this morning (I was in the crosswalk, with the walk signal) apparently they aren't all following the rules or at the very least, they certainly still aren't concerned about our safety.

Anonymous said...

it's all about them. a shame it has come to this

Anonymous said...

Stuff like this is proof of why transit workers should not be unionized. Unions breed corruption and mistreatment which is anything but their original objective. Anyone who has lived in Michigan or New York will know why unions are passe.

I would rather have a TA of non-union workers who give a damn about customers than a bunch of unionied crybabies. Why Catoe (whose baby limited stop routes are eunuchs under this order) hasn't made some threat to resolve amazes me.

Anonymous said...

If you think for a second that this is about safety, I've got a great deal on a mortgage for you. No money down, no questions asked.

Anonymous said...

While I don't think Jeter is handling this particularly well (as usual), I can see her point.

For example: While official rules may ban buses from passing a bus at a stop, drivers are expected to pass. Not doing so would put them behind schedule and render express routes useless. But if a pedestrian dashes out in front of your bus while you are passing, watch out! Suddenly WMATA will talk about how you weren't following proper proceedure. WMATA is trying to have it both ways - putting in place official rules that they know are not or cannot be followed in reality and then blaming drivers when there is an accident and they weren't following rules to the letter.

JC said...

I am a member of the union and have been for years. I've never been written up & never filed a greivance. the union has been good in terms of my getting a living wage, but there are many members who don't deserve that privalege. Jeter is an embarassment to most of us in the union who try to do the best we can at our jobs.

Anonymous said...

Nevermindtheend has it right on the money. There are certain rules that are totally acceptable (no cell phone use/reading while driving) but when there are rules that drivers are expected to break except when things go wrong (no passing) the workers have to do something about it.

Tom A. said...

The S9 is making all stop if a bus is already at each stop. It's no longer an express route.

Anonymous said...

@JC: If Jeter is such an embarassment to ATU 689's rank and file, why is she still leading it and doing stupid things like this? She knows she'll make no friends with this and is probably setting herself up for defeat.

God help us if she ever learns the story of Michael Quill.

Anonymous said...

Last week a bus driver on the #30 departing from Medical Center was asked why she arrived late. Her response seemed off the subject at the time, but now it's apparent she was referring to the "no-slowdown" work action. She replied the buses were all going to be late from now on. Thanks for bringing this nfo. to the paying public/riders.

homertuck said...

I think everyone should email Jeter and tell her that she's one of the reasons riders are starting to hate Metro more and more. When she starts doing crap like this and then lobbies to get the jobs back of people who made deadly mistakes, we should let her know how we feel.
Email her at

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous #10: Your situation would be Ride On, not Metro. Ride On isn't in all this, in fact I was on a Ride On bus in Silver Spring yesterday that--wait for it--passed another bus without incident!

Given where the 30 runs out of (garage wise), a fair amount of their fleet had some defect so they've been scrambling as of late which is what she was referring to.

Anonymous said...

"Why can't a transit system operate "by the book" AND on time?"

Ooo, ooo, I'll take that question!

You see, you can't operate safely, "by the book" and on time because transit planners believe that transit operators are lazy fucks just looking for an easy paycheck. They like to run routes in a car at 11AM and use that as the route timing for a crowded route during the peak of rush hour.

Most transit planners are borderline retarded, and I say that as a former transit planner. They learned some stupid shit in their stupid shit transit planner college (it wasn't actually transit planning, it was urban planning, and if you've had a look at American cities, you know how much THAT degree is worth) and then apply it stupidly. When operations screams at them about how loads are uneven and the schedules are impossible to keep, they sit back and accuse ops of malingering. They never hear passenger complaints, but even if they did, it wouldn't help because most passengers who actually bother to complain just scream inarticulate rage at the CSA, so nothing of substance gets through. You also have the daily collection of weird losers who call transit expecting "action" because the bus passed their street while they were still in the house, or because an operator denied their expired or stolen ADA card.

The other culprit is that ADA of 1990, which requires us to pick up wheelchairs, plus subsequent case law. Most people these days don't come on with DOT chairs that conform to the ADA regs with hooks for tie-downs, nor do they bring a PCA if they can't tie themselves down. Noooo, they mail order a "home scooter" from Fat Diabetic Fuck Monthly, and then try to ride that bitch on the bus. They either weigh 400lbs and that plus the "chair" puts them over lift weight limit, but the lifts don't refuse to move if they're over safe op. standards so you tear the lift up, leading to in-service lift failures (fun!); or once on the bus you can't actually secure the d*** chair, plus you're choking from their stench (I've seen too much uric acid crystallized on skin for one lifetime) and trying to tie down a dirty chair as you scrabble around in a tight corner. It's disgusting, unhygenic, and unsafe. It also kills a lot of time. Oh, I love the part where fat fuck rolls onboard and the pax up front pull their feet up onto the seats so they won't get run over by the chair.

If the schedule ain't realistic, that b*tch will never run on time! Either that, or a slick operator will figure how to leave everybody at the bus stop. You missed the bus, but it made it to the Metro station on time--aren't you proud?

Anonymous said...

Hey Lady Jeter! I was boarding the orange line and the doors shut BEFORE the chimes sounded. She nailed my ankle hard as I was patiently waiting for another lady to move her baby buggy. (There was no crush or crowd.)

The door then opened and slammed shut so fast I could not move. It nailed my ankle again even harder.

I immediately wrote to metro. I got a email reply days later saying how sorry they are and TEACHING me the meaning of the door chimes - they TOTALLY ignored the entire beginning of the email stating the chimes sounded after she was shutting the doors.

The email said I could reply to I just did. In seconds, I have received a bounce back on my email stating I was not allowed to email to that address - "access denied."

When I complained about a dead escalator I got TWO PHONE calls. But when I am injured physically, I get insulted and sidestepped.

NICE con job, Metro! Real nice. Give my regards to Paul Brumby who I cannot reply to.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said - If Jeter is such an embarassment to ATU 689's rank and file, why is she still leading it and doing stupid things like this? She knows she'll make no friends with this and is probably setting herself up for defeat.

Unfortunately you are wrong. She playing right into the mentality of too many of the 689 workers. They just don't get it. And they vote in family and friends, rather than qualified individuals to tun the Union. But, it's always been that way.

The union can't strike. So this is her thinly veiled work slowdown threat. She's encouraging her folks to move as slowly as possible within the SOP. It's shameful.

As a former 689 member, I agree with JC that the union representation is an embarrassment. Nepotism at it's worst. She and her husband are running the union. That should not be allowed. and there is at least one other extended family that is part of the cabal.

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