Transit strike could disrupt MLB all-star festivities

A labor dispute threatens to bring public transportation in the Washington, D.C., area to a halt just as Major League Baseball’s annual all-star game festivities get underway this week National Park.

Thousands of workers represented by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s largest union voted Sunday to authorize a strike. The city’s transit system, the third-largest in the U.S., transports about 1 million commuters a day and is readying for additional baseball fans as riders head to the ballpark for the home run derby on Monday and the Midsummer Classic on Tuesday.

“Thousands of members turned out for the strike authorization vote yesterday meeting in Forestville, Maryland, where members voted ‘yes’ in favor of planning a strike by 94 percent,” the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 said Monday in a statement.

The strike authorization vote by the union, which represents about 8,000 of the D.C. metro’s 12,500 active workers, is the first in 40 years, the last of which resulted in a week-long wildcat strike.

Reached by CBS MoneyWatch, spokespersons for the union and Metro had no immediate comment. 

Union leaders are not saying whether they would initiate a strike now that workers have sanctioned a strike. 

“We will decide the when and where and how,” Jackie Jeter, president of the union, told a news conference Sunday night. “We have to call a meeting of the executive board after this vote, and then we’ll decide on what we’re going to do.”

The union’s executive board meeting could occur as soon as Monday, he added.

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