The “sick out” Metro workers are participating in today appears to be having no impact on the morning commute for riders.
Metro had said earlier in the week that it had received roughly 500 requests for advanced absences for Friday — a rate that it called “many times higher than normal.” All of the requests were denied.
The transit agency had said it expected to offer full rail and bus service for today. Earlier this week, representatives of Metro’s largest union had said they did not have anything coordinated or organized in a protest-type action.
The union president said the agency was putting workers and passengers at risk by rejecting the requests.
“Will WMATA accept the responsibility of refusing a person who is legitimately sick from getting a doctor’s care Friday?” Jackie L. Jeter wrote in an email to Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld, CCing members of the media on the message. “Further, will you force them to operate vehicles that transport hundreds or possibly thousands of riders while ill?”
Metro has been hammered in the last few days. There were growing concerns from the federal level about safety issues, plus a Thursday morning meltdown messed up the Red Line for riders and board members faced a tough meeting with union members storming out of the headquarters, chanting “Who moves this city? We move this city!”