BART workers aren’t striking. But neither have they struck a compromise with management. After nearly four months of debate it appears the only thing the two groups can agree upon is to end negotiations by July 30th.
At that point, Bart management may consider imposing employment terms on the 2,800 union workers, ABC7 reports. “That is at our disposal,” commented BART spokesman Linton Johnson. “As is layoffs.”
Negotiations have been tense as the two groups search for a way to cut $100 million over the next four years. BART has offered union workers a plan that would call for a “wage freeze for the first three years and a .75 percent hike in the fourth year.” In addition, they would require workers to pay more of their retirement and health care.
Union workers have rejected the offer primarily on the grounds that management has refused to accept their own proposal, which they estimate would save $760 million over 25 years. Though I imagine they also rejected it because many say the proposal kind of stinks.
The last BART strike occurred in 1997 and lasted for six days. Union members have promised to give 72 hours notice before striking this time around.
Many BART passengers appear to side with management. Longtime BART employee Debbie Smith told the Examiner that train operators and station agents have been “flipped off, yelled at, and called names.”
But before you choose your allegiance remember that you can never fully understand a BART operator until you ride two stations in his moccasins.