Monday, February 28, 2011

Vote Called for Jeter Removal

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According to a flyer being circulated among Metro employees, there will be a vote tomorrow and Wednesday to remove Jackie Jeter from her position as president of ATU Local 689 and call for another election.

The flyer lists many allegations, including that Jeter upgraded the union hall offices without the consent of members, that she has worked with WMATA against the interests of membership and did not communicate with members about developments in the ongoing court battle over pay increases, which is still working its way through the arbitration process. Another allegation is that Jeter worked outside union rules on a variety of personnel matters.

The last reference to Linda Lattimore is vague, but Lattimore was on the election committee of ATU 689 when Jeter was re-elected in 2009. A former Metro employee alleges Lattimore was arrested for credit card theft and subsequently fired. A search of Maryland court records does show two cases in which a Linda J. Lattimore is the defendant against the Transit Workers Federal Credit Union. One, which is still active, appears to be a judgment against Lattimore for nearly $28,000. The former employee said Lattimore filed a greivance in her firing, but that it was later sent to arbitration. If the flyer is to be believed, Jeter must have done some arm twisting to get votes changed.

According to the Metro employee who shared this document with Unsuck, the flyer was widely distributed despite the efforts of several Metro supervisors to intimidate workers from passing it around. In at least one case, it was smuggled into the blue Metro "mail" bags, that are used to distribute official forms to workers in the field.

The employee, who said they don't regularly attend union meetings because of their disillusionment with how it operates, plans to drive from Virginia to the union hall in Forestville, Md., to vote Jeter out.

"She's working both sides," they said. "A lot of people think that."

The flyer is another sign that membership is increasingly unhappy with Jeter. Earlier this month, it was revealed that a frustrated union member said an Arizona-like shooting "could happen/was going to happen at the union hall!"

According to a source familiar with the union bylaws, charges can be brought against an officer if 10 members sign a petition to do so. For the charges to move forward, three fourths of the members at a regular union meeting have to vote in favor of them. If this happens the executive board of the union or a trial board selected by the executive board conducts a trial and then decides if the officer is guilty or not. If found guilty, an appropriate punishment is meted out. this can be anything from a letter of censure to removal from office. It is then brought back before the membership for a final vote which requires only a simple majority.

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