BART to Strike at Midnight (Update)

Train_wreck_at_Montparnasse_1895.jpg
Update 10:35 p.m.:BART unions issue late-night rant, read below.

Update, 5:47 p.m.: BART describes the rejected package. Read update at the bottom of story.

Original story 5 p.m.: Apparently, BART's hired-gun Tom Hock was doing a better job in Disneyland.


Representatives of the workers' union SEIU 1021 just now issued a press statement saying they will strike at midnight tonight, which means no trains rattling through your neighborhood tomorrow -- and no easy ride to work.

And, as the July strike illustrated, it will also mean greater air pollution, a sudden boon for privatized transportation services, and a hit to the local economy.

"Time and time again, after we made a concession, management would move the goal posts, including now--after reaching a general agreement on economics--demanding changes in work place rules that have historically protected workers from issues like abuse of power, unfair treatment and sexual harassment," SEIU 1021 President Roxanne Sanchez wrote in the union's press release.

Evidently, the battle has veered toward minutiae; the unions say both sides are squabbling over workweek scheduling and rules.

Meanwhile, BART's general manager Grace Crunican struck back with her own press statement, in which she outlined the package deal that wasn't.

"The package is a 3% raise per year for a total of a 12%, with a chance to earn up to $1000 a year if ridership grows. It calls for contributions of 4% for pension and 9.5% for medical." She adds that such concessions aren't just generous, they're good for both sides.

Federal mediators have said publicly that there's nothing more for them to do. Let's just hope they catch BART to the airport before midnight.

If you need to get across the Bay tomorrow, BART is offering limited charter bus service from 9 East Bay stations. There are also several carpool lanes available for high-occupancy vehicles, as well as bike routes provided by East Bay and San Francisco Bicycle Coalitions.

Of course, we recommend telecommuting, because if BART's striking, you should, too.

Update: SEIU Local 1021 Executive director Pete Castelli issued the following statement at 10:15 p.m.:

I'm surprised and sorry to be standing here tonight. In all my years in the Labor movement, I've never seen an employer drive negotiations that were this close to a deal into a strike. After a marathon 28-hour bargaining session, BART's two largest unions thought they had the final framework for a deal.

We met BART's demands on pensions.

We met BARTs demands on health care benefits.

We had the outline of a deal on wages.

We offered to send unresolved work rule issues to voluntary binding interest arbitration.

But after telling the public that their main goal at the bargaining table was saving money to buy new trains, BART management blew up negotiations by insisting that employees sacrifice workplace protections in exchange for economic well-being. This was a poison pill for workers: choose between your paycheck and your rights.

We had a rough deal on economics. We can't believe BART is willing to incite a strike over their professed desire to implement an electronic pay stub system and handheld computers in the workplace.

This is ridiculous.

BART became the top-rated transit system in America with its current work rules.

BART increased ridership from 270,000 riders to 400,000 riders per day with its current work rules.

What's more, BART never focused on performance or efficiency issues during bargaining and repeatedly acknowledged that productivity in the system had increased. The fact is that the system is carrying more passengers than ever with fewer frontline workers than ever.

The rules we're focused on protect basic rights. Like the 8-hour workday. Like past practice language that protect our workers from punishment and retribution when they report favoritism, sexual harassment and other problems in the workplace.

In the end, we're willing to let a neutral third-party arbitrator help both sides work through the differences on work rules and reach final agreement on the economic package discussed on the last 28-hour bargaining session.

Despite reports that BART General Manager Grace Crunican and Board Chair Tom Radulovich are trying to meet with our union, I want to confirm that neither has contacted me nor the other top staff of the union to restart talks since bargaining broke up this afternoon.



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24 comments
John Lilly
John Lilly

Tired of hearing union reps say the public doesn't know the truth, but never providing the details. I call bullshit. Like, exactly what are the work rules the unions are opposed to? Let us be the judge.

yeswecan
yeswecan

Rodney King said it best...  "Can We all get Along? For the Kids and Old People?"

塞繆塞繆
塞繆塞繆

Have these people take the Obama care! 1 less thing Bart has to pay for these idiots!!!!!

Rachel Anne Rhodes
Rachel Anne Rhodes

No people don't realize what's been happening with all the inner workings, all we know is that it's very difficult to get to our jobs when BART strikes. And as the stale mate drags on, people are getting sick of it, since it affects all of the Bay Area.

PJ Lugo
PJ Lugo

Fuck those greedy assholes, fuck bart. Get your shit together, fire everyone and hire me. Ill sign a waiver that says I won't strike too. At 70 racks a year, whats there to argue about?

Rob Blomberg
Rob Blomberg

They had put the economics behind them and BART blew it up over workplace rules?! C'mon, BART, take 'yes' for an answer. We've had enough of this from Congress.

Stan James
Stan James

UNIONS lie also...no different than corporate america

Bubu
Bubu

BART Culture sucks!

Stan James
Stan James

UNIONS have their own agenda...WORKRULES!

Steven Python
Steven Python

It sucks for everyone because everything else will be jammed up on account of it. Though, where I live I probably won't see any of it because I am so far from the commuter routes. But if I want to go anywhere interesting at all - it will suck for me as well!

Margery Tarnoff
Margery Tarnoff

That sucks for people who have to commute from SF to Berkeley or Oakland or vice versa.

Steven Python
Steven Python

They had all summer and all fall to train replacement staff. Proof that they intended to give in to the unions all along - watch and see.

Christopher Hayward
Christopher Hayward

I know that 150,000.00 is nothing to live on when one lives in the Bay Area, CA . A long time back in the 1990's and before yes. Anyone person could work in the Bay Area, CA and live in Sacramento, CA and still have some money left over and even buy a house. Now those days are sadly gone, Sacramento, CA is hell of Ghetto but the cost of living is sky high. Plus I-80 or I-580 or I-80 into I-680 are jam packed with vehicles. So one can no longer live in the central Valley of CA cheaply, plus get to work on time, plus the freken gasoline has become to expensive. So where in times past the central valley could act as a pressure release for the Bay Area, CA . Those days have come and went, now because owning a car is out of reach for most people, car insurance, vehicle tags, registration, smog, repairs, fuel are just too much. So this is why most U.S. cities have seen a huge flux of people trying to move back near to big cities. What is ironic is for Southern California the overall cost of living is not as bad. In N.Y. there is public housing just for the middle income earners, so this is why workers in a lot of cases do not need as much money. In the Bay Area all I saw was the tearing down of public housing projects, yet not a lot of new ones were being built in place of these. Instead of everyone writing they should just fire them, why not look at the bigger picture. Which is housing for a common worker is out of reach for most people. Everyone should demand that all of the mayors in all of the Bay Area cities build new low income housing and middle income housing. Why is it only yuppie types are living in the Presidio ? Why can't the city of San Francisco allow some low income persons and / or families to live there as well ? This is the overall problem with the Bay Area, CA and if the problem of not enough low cost housing is addressed. This will not bode well for my birth region as a whole. This is sadly what most persons such as yourself have become blind to. It will only get worse, unless the California state Governor Mr. Edmund Gerald Brown, Jr. addresses this problem quickly.

塞繆塞繆
塞繆塞繆

Shit they should give them ObamaCare then they will go back to work!!!

William Dolan
William Dolan

YEEAAHHHHH!!!! Been waiting for this. Lessssggoooo!

Robert Scalzi
Robert Scalzi

BART chief negotiator Thomas Hock needs to be Hanged in Public - that scumbag owns a tranpo company that will make a hefty sum when BART again contracts with his company to haul passengers during the strike - as it did just over 2 months ago . HANG HIM HIGH.

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