BART strike

Reform BART's approach to labor

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By Christina Olague

OPINION If BART is part of your daily commute, you know how critical a reliable system is to Bay Area working people. If you don't ride BART, all you have to do it think about all the cars that the system keeps off the road every day.Read more »

Deadly gamble

Local media stoked BART's dangerous union-bashing strategy, new report finds

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joe@sfbg.com

As BART management and unions were locked in dysfunctional contract negotiations that would result in two strikes and two deaths last year, the district and the media scoffed at workers safety concerns and waged a media campaign demonizing the unions. Now, a new report commissioned by the district calls that strategy a horrible mistake.Read more »

Golden Gate Bridge strikes won't effect commuters...yet

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Golden Gate Bridge iron workers are on strike today [Tues/16], protesting retiree healthcare issues their union says were not addressed in 2012. Commuters will not be affected during the strike, however. Machinists Local 1414 made that choice consciously, its representative told us. Read more »

BART fined $210,000 for accident killing two workers

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The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration is fining Bay Area Rapid Transit $210,000 for three "willful/serious" safety violations connected to the death of two transit workers, citing a lack of safety measures at BART as the fault of their deaths. BART was fined maximum amounts allowed for the offenses, officials said. Read more »

BART approves contract as tensions with its workers continue UPDATED

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The BART Board of Directors today approved a modified contract with its two biggest labor unions, an action that received faint praise and was followed up with implied threats from both sides, continuing one of the ugliest and most impactful Bay Area labor disputes in recent memory.Read more »

Unions suing BART board over contract disagreement today, no strike yet

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Two of BART's largest unions will announce a lawsuit against the BART board of directors today on the steps of the Alameda County Superior Court at 11am, which they plan to file shortly before the press conference.

The suit will directly challenge the board's Nov. 21 decision to ratify a contract between the unions and BART management without a hotly contested provision on family leave.

In their announcement of the suit, SEIU Local 1021 and ATU Local 1555 allege the board made "illegitimate and unprecedented actions" in ratifying the contract while removing a section on family leave, which was signed off on by BART management in July. Under the provision, workers who go on leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act would be paid for six of the 12 weeks the law allows them to take unpaid. 

Management has since called signing off on family leave a "mistake," and the board asked all sides to ratify a contract without the provision, hence the lawsuit.

But would a lawsuit mean a new strike? Read more »

Tragedy follows strike

Two workers killed by BART train the district was using on a "training run," despite safety warnings from the striking unions

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news@sfbg.com

On Oct. 19, the second day of a BART strike that hobbled the Bay Area transportation system, two BART workers were struck and killed by a northbound train in Walnut Creek, adding a tragic and surreal element to the charged blame-games that have characterized this labor impasse.Read more »

Lessons of the BART standoff

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EDITORIAL BART and its unions reached a tentative deal on new contracts late Monday (10/21) night, the next day restoring service that had been disrupted by the second four-day strike this year. Now, it's time for everyone to move on from this impasse — and the ugly demonization of workers that accompanied it — and try to heal the damage that was done.Read more »

Train that struck and killed two BART workers was operated by trainee

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National Transportation Safety Board investigator James Southworth confirmed at a press conference on the afternoon of Oct. 21 that the train that struck two BART workers was “in operation for training and maintenance purposes,” and that the operator at the time of the fatal crash was a trainee. He said two of the six people on board were trainees.

The NTSB conducted interviews for 8-10 hours with the train operator, the operator's supervisor and someone from the dispatch office. Read more »

BART chief outlines rules for avoiding Saturday's fatalities UPDATED

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UPDATED 5:30 PM: Guardian News Editor Rebecca Bowe filed a report from the latest NTSB press conference on the BART accident that claimed the lives of two workers in the midst of the BART strike, which can be read here.Read more »