That brief memory of BART being on strike over July 4 weekend could get a lot more real in just a few days. BART and its labor unions met today, and the two sides still couldn’t reach an agreement, SFGate reports. The 30-day contract extension from the strike earlier this month is coming up, which means that at midnight on Sunday, Aug. 4, BART workers could strike again, and this time perhaps for longer.
Union representatives have been criticizing BART’s lead negotiator’s vacation during the talks. From SF Appeal/Bay City News:
SEIU Local 1021 executive director Pete Castelli said negotiations have been ongoing but have been proceeding more slowly than they should because BART’s lead negotiator, Thomas Hock, has been on vacation for the past 10 days.
Castelli said that means the parties have only been able to talk about small supplemental issues during that time instead of the bigger sticking points, which he said are wages, benefits and worker safety.
But [Transit district spokesman Rick] Rice said Hock’s vacation was approved by the state mediator back on July 7 and that the parties have still been able to talk about important matters in his absence.
The two sides will be back at the table Tuesday and daily until Sunday to try to reach an agreement over the labor dispute at the center of the discussion. You all weighed in during the first strike and there didn’t seem to be any tolerable transit options at the time. If BART strikes again, will you have different transit alternatives this time around? Time to sharpen that walking stick?