Business Community Prepares for BART Strike
Well, there's four days left until a BART strike happens -- or not, and we're all on the edge of our BART seat.
We haven't heard a peep from either side since Friday when unions indicated they were still $30 million apart, which is a lot. And while both sides have stated their commitment to keep talking, the community isn't holding its breath.
Today, the business-friendly folks over at the Bay Area Council expressed their doubts that a compromise will be made by Thursday. Enough so that they are holding a press conference tomorrow morning with other transit leaders to tell everyone what they already know: a BART strike will crush us economically, spiritually, mentally, and environmentally.
This meeting will be the start of many pleas for employers to get ready for transportation hell.
If you aren't sure where to begin, transit leaders (the ones not embroiled in a labor dispute) will be on hand tomorrow morning at 10 a.m., 353 Sacramento Street, 10th floor, to discuss commute strategies for all you poor souls (us included) who rely on BART.
Update: Cecille Isidro with SEIU 1021 issued the following statement on behalf of the unions:
As you know, we have been engaged in a discussion with a mediator, which the mediator has issued a gag order on. That said, we do want to take the opportunity to share with you our perspective on the state of play.
We've listened to the public and we share their concern about a disruption in service at the end of the cooling-off period. We do not want to strike. That is why we're not giving a 72-hour notice at this time, because we want to leave every opportunity open to try to get this deal done. Of course we are keeping all options on the table.
To this point of doing everything possible to avoid a strike: over the past 10 days, the unions have moved publicly three times, to BART's zero times.
If this were a score in the baseball playoffs - we, the Oakland A's would be three and they, the Detroit Tigers would be zero.
At this point, if there is a disruption in service at the end of the cooling-off period, it will be for one reason and for one reason alone: our elected BART leadership has not shown leadership.
Right now our country is being held hostage by a small group in Washington, DC and here in the Bay Area we are being held hostage by a small group in BART leadership, who have refused to show leadership. The BART Board of Directors is holding the Bay Area hostage; they've stalled the process as they've stood on the sidelines."