Capuano, Malia Stand with MBTA Mechanics to Stop ‘Privatization Scheme’

During a Wednesday rally in Jamaica Plain, politicians, MBTA mechanics and union supporters came together to chide for-profit companies that were allegedly snuck into MBTA garages “under the cloak of night” to check out properties they wish to control and replace union employees.

Held at the MBTA Arborway Yard (3570 Washington St.), Congressman Michael Capuano (D-Somerville was joined by the INVEST NOW Coalition, MBTA mechanics who are members of IAM Local 264, and state Rep. Liz Malia, D-Jamaica Plain, to support MBTA mechanics, T riders and to stop the privatization of MBTA services.

“These for-profit corporations appearing under cloak of night to begin seizing control of the MBTA demonstrates the lack of transparency surrounding this scheme that is being forced upon taxpayers, riders, and worker,” said Mike Vartabedian, business representative of IAM Local 264 via press release. “The public deserves management at the MBTA that is open and transparent. MBTA mechanics rank as the best in the nation, but thus far the negotiations have remained one-sided with the workers offering $29 million in savings and hearing only silence from management.”

The INVEST NOW Coalition have said the promised cost-savings of privatization are overblown and point to “the disastrous Keolis contract as evidence that the bids recently put forth by for-profit companies TransDev, First Tranist, and MV Transit cannot be trusted.”