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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 12:08 PM ET, 06/20/2011

Union leaders to hold town meeting for Metro riders

[This post has been updated]


(Sandra Leavitt Lerner)
The union that represents most Metro employees, Amalgamated Local 689, plans to hold its first open town meeting to encourage dialogue between its senior leaders and the transit system’s riders.

Lateefah S. Williams, political and legislative director of Local 689, said the union wants to “create a better relationship with the public.”

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Among the issues the union hopes to discuss with Metro riders are the transit system’s budget, problems with SmarTrip fare cards, customer relations and safety.

“For a lot of issues, the riders and the union have the same goals,” Williams said. “It benefits both riders and workers for the system to be adequately funded, for example.

“We see opportunities for the workers and riders to work to a common goal,” she said.

Williams said it is also a “chance to dispel misunderstandings that may have occurred in the past” between union employees and riders.

The union, which has more than 10,000 active and retired members, said five of its top officers will answer questions from the public, along with six rank-and-file Metro employees, including station managers, mechanics, and bus operators.

Williams said the union planned the event near the June 22 anniversary of the Red Line crash because “it’s a good time to see if the system is moving forward.” Nine people were killed and dozens were injured in the 2009 accident at Fort Totten.

The town meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at the MLK Library at 901 G St. NW in the District.

Union President Jackie Jeter will chat with D.C. Metro riders about the town hall and answer your questions here at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Follow me on twitter @postmetrogirl. Follow along at the meeting tonight below and interact with me using the reply (“@”) function. But first, take our State of the Metro System survey:

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By  |  12:08 PM ET, 06/20/2011

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