BART, Unions Still Deadlocked as Strike Deadline Looms

If there's one thing we've learned from months of failed BART negotiations and aimless brinksmanship, it's this: Hell hath no fury like a bargaining team scorned.

With the deadline for a 60-day cooling-off period closing in at 11:59 p.m. tonight, BART workers and their union advocates are ready to shut down Bay Area transit for the second time this year. Worse yet, representatives from BART's two largest unions, Service Employees International Union Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, say they'd nearly come to an agreement yesterday, after back-to-back 12 hour sessions. But then it fell apart this morning, and we're back at square one.

"We were completely taken aback when BART management backed up and withdrew their offer," union spokesmen say in a press release issued this morning, claiming that BART's hired negotiator, Thomas Hock, lied to the unions at the behest of Manager Grace Crunican.

BART communications officer Jim Allison demurred, insisting that BART is committed to reaching a settlement. "Any suggestion that BART offered a proposal and withdrew it is categorically untrue," Allison said in a press statement yesterday.

Both parties will return to the table today in hope of bridging the $89 million wage and benefits gap that sets their proposals apart. Consumers might find comfort knowing that BART's unions declined to issue a 72-hour strike notice on Tuesday, saying they want to exhaust all possible resolutions.

But for any business that suffered during the July BART strike, or any harried commuter who had to queue up for a four-hour ferry ride, that might be a dubious silver lining.

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Dave Eaton
Dave Eaton

This is really going to mess up my bike ride to both my jobs. Wait a tick, I live and work in Oakland.


How much pressure can we take, our government isn't working, our economy may be tanking and now we face the possibility of not being able to get to work?   Everyone at BART from the top down ,should take a good long look in the mirror and ask themselves, wwjd?

Krista Ayala
Krista Ayala

Fire them all and start over. Plenty of unemployed folks who would JUMP at their current pay and benefits package. They get better benefits than gov workers!

Lauren Larsson
Lauren Larsson

If you're going to publish the unions' scripted spin, you should also get BART's spin.

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