BARTlogo.pngBART spokesman Linton Johnson said today management will consider imposing terms and conditions of employment for its 2,800-plus union workers if an agreement with labor negotiators isn’t reached by midnight today.

However, Johnson said management is still negotiating with union leaders and hopes to reach an agreement by midnight, which he said is management’s “internal” deadline for reaching a settlement.

Speaking to reporters at a news conference outside the negotiation site in downtown Oakland, Larry Gerber, chief negotiator for Service Employees International Union Local 1021, said that if management imposed a contract, it would be “like slapping our face and throwing down the gauntlet” and that unions would consider all options, including giving a 72-hour notice of a strike.

However, Gerber said the unions are still at the bargaining table and that “gradual” progress is being made.

Joining Gerber at the news conference, Jesse Hunt, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 3993, said “we remain hopeful we can reach an agreement that is fair to our members and fair to the public.”

Gerber said the negotiations will probably continue until late tonight, saying “We’ll know at midnight if this is done.”

SEIU 1021, BART’s largest union, represents about 1,400 mechanics, custodians, safety inspectors and clerical employees. ATU 1555, is the transit agency’s second-largest union and represents about 900 train operators, station agents and power workers.

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