From Metro Washington Labor Council AFL-CIO <[email protected]>
Subject ATU condemns fatal shooting of hero Metro worker
Date February 2, 2023 10:47 AM
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After second transit worker killing in days, ATU condemns fatal shooting of hero Metro worker

Black Labor History Month

Labor Quote

Today's Labor History

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Today's guests: Erica Prather, Defenders United (union at Wildlife Defenders); Jan-Michael Archer & Alexander Hoyle, Fearless Student Employees of UMD; Jonathan Kissam, Remembering Ralph Fasanella.

After second transit worker killing in days, ATU condemns fatal shooting of hero Metro worker

In the wake of the tragic fatal shooting of a Metro transit worker yesterday morning at the Potomac Avenue Metro station, the second in the region just this week, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) is blasting WMATA for failing to provide better protection and safety measures for transit workers and riders. "I want to express our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the family and the loved ones of our fallen hero brother, who was tragically shot to death trying to stop the shooter. Our thoughts and prayers are also with our Local 689 members as they deal with this tragedy," said ATU President John Costa. "The scourge of violence on the DC Metro has gotten out of control and must be stopped. We hold the authority directly responsible for failing to protect our members and riders."


Three people were shot in the deadly incident Wednesday morning, leaving two injured and ATU Local 689 member Robert Cunningham, 64, dead after he attempted to subdue the assailant, who has been caught. Greg Bowen, a high-voltage electrician and mechanic who serves on both the ATU 689 executive board and the Metro Washington Council's executive board, and who had known Cunningham for 17 years, called him "A gentle giant," and [link removed] told the Washington Post "He had a heart of gold."


"The heroes that run our transit day in and day out and the riders they faithfully serve deserve to go to work knowing they are free from fear of violence," said Local 689 in a statement. "That is not the case today. The recent rise of attacks on riders and workers alike is deeply disturbing and must be stopped." As ATU noted, "this brutal killing is not an isolated incident." Just this week, MTA MobilityLink driver Marcus Alsup, an ATU Local 1764 member, was violently killed on the job in Baltimore. Last month, a suspect was charged with murder after a shooting at the Southern Avenue Metro station, and in December, there were two shootings just hours apart at the Benning Road and Metro Center stations. Follow ATU 689 on Twitter [link removed] here and the ATU [link removed] here.

photo: John McDonnell/The Washington Post

Black Labor History Month

This year, for Black History Month, we'll be sharing stories from Black history across the labor movement. To share yours, please send them to us at mailto:[email protected] [email protected].

Today's profile is from the AFL-CIO; follow the AFL-CIO on [link removed] Facebook, [link removed] Twitter or the [link removed] AFL-CIO blog for more profiles every day throughout the month.


Labor Quote: A. Philip Randolph

"A solid contract, is, in a very real sense, another Emancipation Proclamation."

Asa Philip Randolph was an American labor unionist and civil rights activist. In 1925, he organized and led the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first successful African-American led labor union.

Today's Labor History

This week's Labor History Today podcast: [link removed] A meatpacker's American dream. Last week's show: [link removed] Bill Lucy on MLK; Shubert Sebree on Debs.

Sixteen thousand silk workers in Paterson, NJ and 32,000 in Lawrence, Mass. strike for shorter work week with no cut in pay - 1919

Legal secretary Iris Rivera fired for refusing to make coffee; secretaries across Chicago protest - 1977

The 170-day lockout (although management called it a strike) of 22,000 steelworkers by USX Corp. ends with a pay cut but greater job security. It was the longest work stoppage in the history of the U.S. steel industry - 1987

David Prosten

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Published by the Metropolitan Washington Labor Council, an AFL-CIO "Union City" Central Labor Council whose 200 affiliated union locals represent 150,000 area union members. DYANA FORESTER, PRESIDENT.

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