MetroAccess strike possible due to paycut push

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Keith Diggs can’t imagine what he would do without his daily MetroAccess rides. But a strike is becoming increasingly possible, and may be just days away.

“I go up to the National Rehabilitation Center and I rely on them quite a bit, so I hope they don't go on strike," he says.

The union that represents the 450 MetroAccess workers that drive vans and answer phones at the call center have been at a contract impasse for months with two of the contractors that run MetroAccess. They claim the vendors are pushing a paycut for employees in order to cover health benefits.

"I don't want this to have a negative impact on those who rely on the service," says union president Wayne Baker. "It really doesn't help anyone. But we want the company to know these are wages we just can't tolerate."

In the meantime, Metro recently released a statement saying:

"We are in contact with the vendors and have expressed our expectation that they will continue to deliver safe and reliable service for the MetroAccess customers who depend upon it."

Union officials say they are making contingency plans to protect riders if there is a strike.

"We are reaching out to make certain that these people still get the services that they need," says Baker.