BART Prepares to Bring the Pain

Categories: BART
BART management and labor negotiations continue, and, Godwilling, they've even agreed on the shape of the table. The shape of contract talks and what it means for the transit agency's 367,000-odd daily riders remains amorphous.

Delivering news as pleasant as a soiled BART seat, longtime Board of Directors member James Fang told KPIX that both sides are "just talking at each other" and characterized management as offering "nothing in-between" its position and labor's desires. Fang, the most labor-friendly BART director during the current go-round, postulated that this was a "tactic" and part of an effort to "break the unions' spirit."

Barring a breakthrough, BART workers are scheduled to walk off the job early Monday morning.

Calls to several of Fang's fellow directors have, thus far, gone unanswered as the Board is still sitting in an emergency 9 a.m. meeting hurriedly called yesterday. The subject of today's talks, SF Weekly is told, is "labor." No news on the shape of the table.

While BART management is, ostensibly, taking a take-it-or-leave it stance, labor and its allies have redoubled their calls for management to leave its controversial negotiator.

See Also: BART Unions Give 72-Hour Strike Notice

Along with the SEIU, a bevy of faith leaders at noon today will blast Thomas Hock for, among other charges, "his history of inciting strikes."

Come Monday morning, history may repeat itself.

Update, 3:10 p.m.: BART Board of Directors member John McPartland notes that he was "sitting two feet away from" Fang, whom he considers a personal friend. And, with regards to the state of negotiations "I see things differently."

McPartland says "the board has authorized the negotiating team to bargain with enough effective tools to bring this contract to a resolution. I truly believe that."

Asked if the trains will be running come Monday, he says "I'm confident they will be. If not, then we're open for a brand new discussion."

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mblaircheney topcommenter

Time to seriously consider fortifying all other options. An earthquake or terrorist strike (not worker /management) could produce the same unwanted result, extended loss of service. Planning ahead for the possibility of bad outcomes should be the main takeaway from this situation.

Bart serves a rather upscale clientele, not a lot of hand ringing going on for their loss. BMW ride sharing, internet work from home or ferries all seem like livable options.

Bottom line, if they do make it to the City, they can be assured that the Muni will be there to get them to their destination, albeit with a bus or train running behind schedule, because those workers 'can't' go on strike. San Francisco knows it can't operate without them and built it into the contracts. Hmmm... 

aliasetc topcommenter

San Francisco is getting what they deserve! Wait till the next big one. Bart collapse under bay, new bay bridge collapsess, thousands killed. All because of the incompitant crooks who run the City. Time for a change of regime.

rmajora topcommenter

The already over-compensated BART unions should by law be prevented from striking, like Muni workers. But the Democratic Party politicians running the state won't dare cross the unions. That would make it harder to raise money at election time. And I say that as a Democrat. 


@rmajora Then you would have to go to binding arbitration if the Unions can't strike. Neither the District nor the Unions want that.

rmajora topcommenter

@mollari @rmajora 

Of course they don't want that, but that's the point. There's another important interest here---the public's interest. It's not right that BART's management and the unions can ignore that interest. Muni's unions manage to prosper without strikes; why shouldn't BART's unions learn to do the same?

rmajora topcommenter

@mollari @rmajora 

No, BART workers and management should be subject to mandatory mediation to protect the public interest in not fucking up traffic in the region for everyone. If Muni workers are prospering without strikes, why can't BART workers? They're the ones who have an "entitlement attitude."


@rmajora @mollari MUNI can't strike, it's in the City Charter. BART is 41 years old, and in those 41 years BART had a lockout in 1979 for three months, in 1997 on strike for 6 days and now 4 1/2 days. And I bet you two-to-one you weren't even working in the Bay Area in 97. So four day you were inconvenience. So BART workers are suppose to take anything management gives them, and to suck it up?because they should not inconveniences the public. I think there's enough entitlement attitude to go around.

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