Transit workers rally for funding
Thousands of transit workers from across the country rallied on Capitol Hill on Tuesday afternoon to call for greater and more flexible federal funding for the nation's ailing public transport systems.
About 200 workers from Metro joined some 3,000 from New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Baltimore, Atlanta and other cities to press lawmakers to pass legislation that would increase transit funding and allow federal monies to be used more flexibly to meet immediate shortfalls in operating budgets.
"We want to get federal money for the operating budget," said Jackie Jeeter, head of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689, saying that Metro could lay off as many as 300 workers given its $189 million budget shortfall for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
The rally was the first of its kind by the two major transit unions, the ATU and the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), organizers said.
-- Ann Scott Tyson
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