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DC Metro GM Takes Hatchet To Budget, Slashes 500 Jobs

(KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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D.C. Metro officials will cut 500 positions over the next several months as part of the general manager’s effort to rein in the budget and reform the ailing transit system.

General Manager Paul Wiedefeld alerted workers in a staff notice Monday that he would eliminate positions deemed either no longer necessary, non-essential vacant positions or redundancies in various positions. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) initiated the process Monday, sending senior officials a list of positions that will be terminated, reports WJLA.

Officials with Metro’s human resources department said affected employees will be notified over a several-month period as they revise internal policies and procedures.

“In order to operate in a businesslike manner and achieve cost savings…positions must be eliminated,” Wiedefeld wrote in a statement to senior management Monday. “I have directed the elimination of a total of about 500 positions over the next several months.”

Officials promised to work with union representatives to adhere to collective bargaining agreements and ensure proper legal notification to affected employees. (RELATED: DC Metro GM Goes Scorched Earth, Fires 20 Managers And Says More Layoffs Coming)

“While I recognize that it will take several months to complete those processes, it is important that we give employees as much notice as possible, as well as work to maximize cost savings from redundant and non-essential business functions,” wrote Wiedefeld.

Wiedefeld cleaned house in May, firing 20 station managers as part of the ongoing efforts to reform the system. The firings were in response to various safety blunders and were meant to show that priorities at the transit agency were changing. One-third of the workers fired in May came from rail operations.

The current cull is an effort to enter the coming fiscal year in a stronger position as the ongoing SafeTrack repairs continue to impact the system.

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