MARTA Workers, Allies Hold "Moral Monday Rally for Atlanta" Oct. 6 at MARTA Board Chair Ashe's Law Offices
(1pm, Monday, Oct. 6, One Atlantic Center, 1201 West Peachtree St., NW, Atlanta)
Media Contact: Curtis Howard, 404-223-5122 or David Roscow, 202-487-4990
Atlanta, GA, - Calling for a fair contract, an end to the scheme to outsource essential transit services, and economic justice for all Atlantans, MARTA transit workers and allies will hold a “Moral Monday for Atlanta” rally at 1pm, Monday, October 6 outside of MARTA Board Chair Robbie Ashe’s law offices.
MARTA CEO Keith Parker and Ashe have concocted a plan, dubbed MARTA’s Transformation Initiative, that is deliberately misleading riders to believe that the system will be more efficient.
In reality, it discriminates against Atlanta’s working poor by making it more difficult for minority workers to get to jobs and jeopardizing the safety and reliability of paratransit service. Atlanta seniors, children with special needs and those with disabilities rely on this vital transportation service to get to and from the doctor, grocery store and other daily tasks.
“It should be called MARTA’s ‘Misinformation Initiative,’” says Amalgamated Transit Union Local 732 President Curtis Howard, who expects riders, clergy and other allies at the rally. “It’s a deceitful campaign designed to gut transit service for Atlanta’s most vulnerable, enrich executives who are already make top dollar, and beat down the working people of Atlanta who have been under attack for years.”
The rally takes place as MARTA workers continue working without a contract. Years of wage stagnation have left MARTA workers with an effective 15% reduction in pay that puts them far below what is considered a “living wage” in the Atlanta metro area. “At one time these were jobs that lifted African American workers out of poverty,” Howard said. “But now MARTA is pushing us right back out of the middle class.” Parker and Ashe are demanding workers pay even more for health care, which would further reduce their take home pay.
As part of their campaign, transit workers launched a radio ad featuring an Iraq war veteran and single mother whose job at MARTA is in jeopardy thanks to Parker’s and Ashe’s scheme to outsource paratransit. The radio ad, which will run on stations across the Atlanta metro area, can be heard here.