BART Strike Might Be Back On
So remember all those posts we wrote earlier this week about the BART strike being narrowly averted? Uh, just kidding. Maybe. BART's unions renewed their strike threat Thursday, announcing that if they don't see progress at the bargaining table by this evening, they may issue yet another 48 hour notice.
For commuters bedeviled by last month's traffic snarls and interminable ferry boat queues, this battle is becoming a bit Kafka-esque. Last Sunday Governor Jerry Brown stepped in at the eleventh hour, calling for a 7-day moratorium while he investigates the labor stalemate. Brown appointed a three-member panel to handle that investigation, buying both sides time to resume talks -- the panel's report is due Sunday.
Brown has also reserved the right to issue a 60-day "cooling-off period," barring unforeseen peace brokerage. But so far, that cool-off isn't forthcoming, and union representatives have roundly opposed it.
Both sides resumed negotiations on Thursday with no sign of a resolution. BART workers and their advocates at SEIU Local 1021 still demand a 20.1 percent wage increase over three years -- a move that could ratchet up fares by 18 percent, according to BART management.
But some riders might consider that a small price, if it could stave off periodic weeks of commuter hell.