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BART Workers Set to Strike at Midnight

BART workers are set to strike at midnight tonight, in advance of Friday morning’s commute. Here are statements from BART and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021.

BART Statement

No labor deal reached, BART gives final offer, unions call a strike

BART General Manager Grace Crunican issued the following statement after no deal was reached in labor negotiations between BART and its two largest unions:

“I am very disappointed that even after six months of day after day, night after night intense negotiations we are still unable to reach a deal. It hasn’t been all for nothing, we were able to make progress but a large gap remains.”

“Today I gave an updated final offer to the unions on behalf of the Board. It reflects the limited progress we’ve made over the past four days of work and it addresses the essential work rule efficiencies BART desperately needs to modernize our operations.”

“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. I think the offer is good for the workers and good for BART. We’ve given our unions until October 27th to consider the offer and take it to a vote of the members.”

“I appreciate the riders’ and the Bay Area’s support in standing by us during these difficult negotiations.
“We are not going to agree to something we can’t afford. We have to protect the aging system for our workers and the public.”
“Thank you to the mediators that were involved, BART staff, and Caltrans for their hospitality.”

“We gave it our all and it didn’t come together and that is disappointing to everyone involved. We have a lot to do to build the future: a new fleet of rail cars, modern stations, better access, and a stronger partnership with our unions. I believe we can get there, but we have to get there together.”

BART’s unions have announced they will strike at midnight tonight. We urge commuters to plan ahead. Details on BART’s very limited charter bus service can be found here.

SEIU Statement

Workers to Resume Unfair Labor Practice Strike at BART

Workers Announce General Understanding Reached on Economics in Contract Negotiations, but Management Insists on Stripping Workers of Fundamental Workplace Protections. Union would agree to binding interest arbitration to settle scheduling key outstanding issues.

Oakland, CA – After more than 28 hours of marathon negotiations, Roxanne Sanchez, president of the SEIU 1021, released the following statement:

“Over the last several nights, all of us—workers, elected officials, the federal mediators, the media and, most importantly, our riders—have been played by a management team simply unwilling to settle the contract.

At this point, we have come to an overall understanding on economics. However, in the end, BART management is withholding settlement because they want to fundamentally and significantly change the conditions under which we work.

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.

Given how close we are to settlement, we are willing to take the unprecedented step of agreeing to voluntary binding interest arbitration on the specific outstanding issues of workday and workweek scheduling and wage schedules for utility workers and system service workers.

At midnight tonight, unless there were something to change, workers will be forced out on strike.”

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