Scroll down for updates

Breaking: The ATU has announced its intention to strike, at the close of business on Sunday, the union will strike. ATU represents over 900 train operators, station agent, and other folks who keep the trains running. Though the other two BART unions agreed to the contract, they will honor the picket lines and will not report to work after close of business Sunday.

7: 47 AM: As reported yesterday, BART management was expected to sit down with the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, the union that voted to reject the tentative contract the leaders of all three BART unions agreed to in July. The goal, saidBART spokesperson Linton Johnson yesterday: to try to “figure out why the ATU rejected the contract” and to come up with an alternative agreement.

These talks ended at about 9:45 last night, after BART presented ATU with its “Last, Best and Final Offer, which ATU rejected” according to a statement from Johnson. From the statement:

BART repeatedly told ATU that it could meet its financial target by simply eliminating enough wasteful work rules that would result in the elimination of just five station agent positions through attrition – not layoffs. BART said doing so would even allow ATU to retain the 6 floating holiday and/or vacation days it had agreed to give up under the Tentative Agreement reached on July 31. ATU rejected the idea.

A call to ATU chapter president Jesse Hunt has not been returned.

The BART Board will be meeting this morning to consider imposing terms and conditions on ATU. As noted yesterday, these terms would not necessarily be those agreed upon in the initial contract negotiations, and might instead “revert to a previous”ly discussed set of conditions. Many have speculated that this imposition of terms might bring about a strike.

Chronicle coverage: BART contract talks break down

10:16 AM (BCN): BART management has declared an impasse in contract talks with the transit agency’s second-largest union, a move that could set the stage for a possible strike.

BART chief spokesman Linton Johnson said management ended its talks with leaders of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, which represents about 900 train operators, station agents and power workers, at 9:45 p.m. Wednesday night after the union rejected BART’s “last, best and final” contract offer.

He said BART’s board of directors will hold a special meeting late this morning at which they will discuss all options, including imposing terms and conditions of employment.

ATU Local 1555 president Jesse Hunt couldn’t immediately be reached for comment today, but he has said previously that the union would go on strike if management imposed pay and work rules.

Two other BART unions voted earlier this week to approve management’s contract offer but their leaders have said they would respect picket lines if ATU Local 1555 were to go on strike.

The other unions are Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represents about 1,500 mechanics, custodians, safety inspectors and clerical employees, and American Federation of Local, State and Municipal Employees Union Local 3993, which represents about 200 middle managers.

Johnson said ATU Local 1555 leaders rejected management’s contract offer even though management retracted a previous proposal to eliminate six floating holidays and vacation days.

He said management also wants to eliminate work rules that it believes are inefficient and costly but that those changes wouldn’t result in any immediate loss of jobs.

Johnson said the proposed new work rules would only result in the loss of five jobs through attrition and there wouldn’t be any layoffs.

2:25 PM (BCN): BART’s board of directors voted unanimously today to unilaterally implement terms and conditions of employment for members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, a move that could lead to a strike.

BART management held a special meeting today and in a 9-0 vote approved imposing the terms after the union rejected BART’s final contract offer in negotiations Wednesday night.

Jesse Hunt, president of ATU Local 1555, which represents about 900 train operators, station agents and power workers, said earlier today that if the board took such a step, union members would strike.

He said a strike could begin as soon as Friday. The union plans to hold a news conference at 4 p.m. today to discuss its course of action.

General manager Dorothy Dugger said after the vote, “This is not the outcome I would have hoped to be announcing today.”

However, she said, “We must take action to achieve savings and put the district on more stable ground.”

BART chief spokesman Linton Johnson said the vote “was regrettable but had to be done to stop the bleeding,” pointing out the agency is losing money daily due to the cost of negotiations and the cost of continuing under the terms of the previous contract.

BART board member Joel Keller said he reluctantly supported imposing the work and pay rules because “all of the economic indicators are going down,” including BART’s ridership and sales tax revenues.

Johnson said ATU still has time to negotiate rather than calling a strike.

Two other BART unions voted earlier this week to approve management’s contract offer but their leaders have said they would respect picket lines if ATU Local 1555 were to go on strike.

The other unions are Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represents about 1,500 mechanics, custodians, safety inspectors and clerical employees, and American Federation of Local, State and Municipal Employees Union Local 3993, which represents about 200 middle managers.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!
  • Greg Dewar

    I’ll be posting some hints to mitigate this annoyance soon, but for now I just want to issue a big FUCK YOU to BART management AND the unions for all the chest beating and macho bullshit they’ve put us through.

    and a serious high five to the Appeal for its coverage of all things transit related as well – excellent work.

  • Greg Dewar

    I’ll be posting some hints to mitigate this annoyance soon, but for now I just want to issue a big FUCK YOU to BART management AND the unions for all the chest beating and macho bullshit they’ve put us through.

    and a serious high five to the Appeal for its coverage of all things transit related as well – excellent work.