BART Unions Give 72-Hour Strike Notice

Categories: BART, Labor

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Flickr/wallyg via Creative Commons
It's official: BART workers intend to go on strike again.

Last night, the unions gave their courtesy 72-hour strike notice after yet another night of failed labor talks. Although BART and its unions could still come up with a contract by Monday, best you start making other commute plans.

BART spokesman Rick Rice called the strike notice totally unnecessary.

"We are very disappointed and hope they reconsider their options," Rice said in a statement to the media. "A strike only stalls and delays the decisions that need to be made while using our riders as pawns. "

Union workers said they felt they had no choice but to call for another strike. "We can't negotiate or continue to negotiate against ourselves," said AFSCME Local President Patricia Schuchardt. "It takes two to negotiate."

Both sides said they would continue talking through the weekend in hopes of reaching some kind of deal by the Sunday deadline. Rice said BART will stay at the table as long as it takes to reach an agreement, even if it passes the Sunday deadline.

"Even if there isn't a deal in place by Sunday night, talks can be extended," Rice noted.

Initially, the union contract expired on June 30, and workers went on a four-day strike that crippled the Bay Area transportation system. More than 400,000 commuters were forced to the roads and ferries, creating a hellish commute for everyone.

A state mediator swooped in and both sides agreed to extent the contract another month while they continued sparring it out. This bought everyone a little time to cool off and start again. A month later, and the sticking points remain the exact same -- salaries, benefits, and healthcare.

"The District has responded to union leadership concerns with numerous concessions, while they have shown an unwillingness to bargain. They continue to insist on a 20-plus percent pay increase with no changes to health care and a small pension contribution," Rice said. "The future of the system depends on a more reasonable contract."

Unfortunately, if a strike does happen, the agency contractually cannot hire any replacement workers. So yeah, you're screwed.




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22 comments
Dax Energi
Dax Energi

We're actually hostages to these guys.

aliasetc
aliasetc topcommenter

In 73 hours they can all pick up their yellow lay off slips and go get fucked!

Lee Hepner
Lee Hepner

why is a good thing to prevent BART workers the right to strike? why are we suddenly so anti-labor? when bart management refuses to negotiate, the ability to strike is the only leverage that workers have. it's a last resort. shame the negotiation process, maybe, but not the workers.

塞繆塞繆
塞繆塞繆

Fire there ass! Hire people that need jobs. I would love to get paid what there getting paid, plus there insurance is not bad at all. It's better then what I'm getting!

Danny Burr
Danny Burr

A worker was just killed because of a lack of lighting in tunnels. THAT is a major part of what they're asking for. I guess that %15,000 a month for spin by BART management is working.

Danny Burr
Danny Burr

Can someone comment on the list of safety issues?

Danny Burr
Danny Burr

You all are driving nails into labor. Don't bitch when your oan salaries start reflecting the current attack on Unions. The reason YOUR salary IS what it is, is because of unions and YOUR companies NEED to stay comparable with them. You're being played.

Marc Escuro
Marc Escuro

Remember, BART operators drive a train that drives itself!! With base + OT, they too make well over $100K. BART should get to a point where the trains are FULLY AUTOMATED and just drop the need for an operator all together. They do it elsewhere in the world.

Lester Bangs
Lester Bangs

I want to like what Marc said a million times.

Stephen Johnson
Stephen Johnson

Fuck BART employees...privatize the whole system and bring in low wage foreigners to push buttons all day...haha

Irina Moskalenko
Irina Moskalenko

what does it take to be a bart worker with a high paying job? Two graduate diplomas, high grades, shuffling school with work? I do agree with above comments, a small group of people keeping the whole are hostage? What people of other trades shared the same lame thinking? Selfish and greedy.

Marc Escuro
Marc Escuro

I don't understand why a 1-2% raise isn't "enough" for these BART employees. That's what the rest of the working public earns in raises per year. The union rep, Antonette Bryant, is a Station Agent, and she has a base salary of $107,161 and earned $145,517 in 2012. What does she actually do as a STATION AGENT? Scan Clipper Cards and eat potato chips all day?? And by her press conferences, she has the most acerbic attitude. She should be earning $50,000 MAX.

BART Riders
BART Riders

Yes, it IS our paycheck. Where do you think funding for the entire BART organization comes from? Local taxes and fares. They are taking money, almost directly, out of our pockets to line theirs. That's bullshit. The economy still sucks for most people.

Jamie Guzzi
Jamie Guzzi

I think all of you need to stop feeling so entitled. It's not your paycheck.

Ozzie Cruz
Ozzie Cruz

Poor BART employees... They already make over $100k... They need more $... Poor people, and they are suffering and they want everyone else to suffer... Idiots!!!!

Blaze Farrar
Blaze Farrar

Bunch of jerks. Our legislators need to do something to prevent transit strikes. One small group of people shouldn't hold an entire region hostage.

Dixter Chauncey
Dixter Chauncey

The good thing that could come from this is that BART employees lose the right to strike in the future...Most transit agencies in major cities can not go on strike.

Steven Python
Steven Python

Should have started training replacements last month. They wouldn't be striking now.

Bonnie Blake
Bonnie Blake

This event will be devastating to the Bay Area.

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