George Davis, president of the union that represents Metrobus drivers, said yesterday that the union's position as official bargaining agent with the Metro Transit Authority being undercut by D.C. Council member Jerry A. Moore Jr. (R-At Large).
Moore, who is also vice chairman of the Metro board, met Wednesday night at the District Building with a committee of 16 bus drivers who presented a list of proposals to improve their safety while on duty. The committee, which has no official union representatives, was organized after the one-day wildcat bus strike May 18 snarled parts of the Metrobus system.
On that day, Moore met with about 300 drivers in the parking lot at RFK Stadium and invited them to form a committee and submit proposals. The strike grew out of an incident in which a female bus driver was raped while on duty.
Moore told the Metro board yesterday that he has scheduled a meeting Wednesday at Metro headquarters to discuss the drivers' proposals. He said in a telephone interview last night that Davis, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, was among those who would be formally invited to the meeting.
"I have made it absolutely clear that the only person I am speaking for is me," Moore said. "I am not speaking for the City Council, I am not speaking for the Metro board, and I am not speaking for the union."
Davis, in a telephone interview, complained that union leadership had been "undercut," and said, "I don't know the extent of the discussions (Moore) had with the drivers. I don't want somebody coming to me saying we agreed on something when we weren't there."
The wildcat strike surprised the union leadership as much as it did Metro officials and stranded bus riders.
The drivers went back to work after the union and Metro agreed to a six-point program for increased driver security, but also after Moore's meeting at the stadium. The drivers have said they will go back on strike if Metro does not live up to its commitments. Police patrols have been increased on buses by both Metro police and District of Columbia officers.
Moore also said yesterday that "unless something had happened" at the stadium to soothe the drivers, "they would not have gone back to work."
Moore has also scheduled a public hearing on bus crime June 9 in his capacity as chairman of the City Council's Committee on Transportation and Environmental Affairs. Davis said he had been invited and would testify at that hearing.