BART management officials and members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 will meet this afternoon to resume contract talks in an effort to prevent Monday’s upcoming BART strike, ATU President Jesse Hunt said this morning.
“We are getting back to the table with management this afternoon,” Hunt said. “We will be doing everything we can do to avert any work stoppage.”
Hunt said Thursday afternoon that ATU, the transit agency’s second-largest union, which represents about 900 train operators, station agents and power workers, will go on strike after BART service ends Sunday night.
His announcement came several hours after BART board members voted 9-0 to impose pay and work rules on the union, effective immediately.
BART spokesman Linton Johnson said management declared an impasse in its talks with ATU Local 1555 Wednesday night because the union wasn’t reaching management’s cost-cutting target.
He said management’s goal is to achieve $100 million in labor cost savings in the next four years to help deal with its projected $310 million budget shortfall in that time span.
Two other BART unions voted earlier in the week to approve management’s contract offer but their leaders say they will respect picket lines if ATU Local 1555 goes 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.
ATU Local 1555’s members voted by a two-to-one margin on Monday to reject management’s contract offer.
Hunt said BART management and the ATU will meet at 1 p.m. today.
“We don’t believe there’s that much difference where the parties are and we want to the opportunity to continue negotiating,” Hunt said. BART officials are expected to hold a news conference at 11 a.m. today.