MARTA’s labor union says it has voted to approve a new contract after negotiations that dragged on for over a year.
Details of the contract approved by Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 732 in a July 17 ratification vote were not immediately available.
“We would like to announce that the contract was ACCEPTED,” wrote ATU 732 recording secretary Shareka Cook-Thomas in a July 18 letter to members that was posted on the local’s Facebook page. “Whereas we truly understand the many concerns of our members, know that they do not go unheard, and we will continue to fight for equitable wages.”
President Britt Dunams said he was in sessions and not immediately available for an interview but indicated in a text message that there was some dissent.
“There was a ratification vote and the membership was torn because of scared tactics [sic]…,” he said.
Cook-Thomas wrote that the next steps are to notify MARTA of the contract approval and have it go before the MARTA Board of Directors for its vote.
A MARTA spokesperson said the transit agency had “no update” on the union’s contract vote.
The contract negotiations heated up earlier this year with mutual accusations of delays and misinformation and talk of workers staging an “action.” Talks began on May 31, 2022, and continued long past the expiration of the previous contract on Dec. 31. Neither MARTA nor ATU 732 would discuss details, but wages appeared to be the sticking point.