The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Nation & World

October 13, 2013

Clock ticking on possible Bay Area transit strike

SAN FRANCISCO — With a midnight strike deadline just hours away and public frustration mounting, negotiators for the Bay Area Rapid Transit system and its two unions resumed contract talks Sunday as nervous commuters scouted alternate ways of getting to work.

Members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 and Service Employees International Union Local 1021 have vowed to walk off the job Monday morning if no new labor agreement is reached by midnight.

BART workers went on strike for nearly five days in July and were set to do so again Friday when a cooling-off period ordered by Gov. Jerry Brown ended, but they agreed to negotiate through the weekend.

Nearly 370,000 riders take BART every weekday, and its 104 miles of track make it the nation's fifth-largest commuter rail system.

In a sign of how seriously another shutdown is looming over the region, state lawmakers from the Bay Area and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom dropped by the talks Sunday to encourage the two sides to reach a resolution.

BART and union representatives said in the late afternoon that they were still hopeful a strike could be averted.

Sticking points in the 6-month-old negotiations include salaries and workers' contributions to their health and pension plans. BART workers currently pay $92 a month for health care and contribute nothing toward their pensions — generous benefits BART management is seeking to curtail.

The unions, which represent 2,375 mechanics, custodians, station agents, train operators and clerical workers, want a raise of nearly 12 percent over three years, while BART has proposed a 10 percent increase over four years. Workers from the two unions now average about $71,000 in base salary and $11,000 in overtime annually, BART said.

Labor leaders also are pressing demands to make stations safer, such as better lighting in tunnels, bulletproof glass in agents' booths and improved restroom access.

BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said the negotiating teams met separately and face-to-face Sunday while reviewing and fine-tuning their respective proposals.

No details on the latest offers or the pace of progress were released, however, at the mediator's request.

If a strike is called for Monday, BART is planning to offer free bus trips between San Francisco and the East Bay, and ferry service to the city would be expanded. But people who travel on the system's north-to-south routes in the East Bay would be stranded, and freeway traffic is expected become snarled as more commuters opt to take cars.

 

1
Text Only
Nation & World
  • news_marathonsecurity.jpg Boston Marathon organizers confident of safe race

    The arrest of a man with a rice cooker in his backpack near the Boston Marathon finish line led police to step up patrols Wednesday, while organizers sought to assure the city and runners of a safe race next week.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_diabetescomplications.jpg Study: Diabetic heart attacks and strokes falling

    In the midst of the diabetes epidemic, a glimmer of good news: Heart attacks, strokes and other complications from the disease are plummeting.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_skoreaferry.jpg Fears rise for missing in South Korea ferry sinking

    Fears rose Thursday for the fate of 289 passengers still missing more than 24 hours after their ferry flipped onto its side and filled with water off the southern coast of South Korea.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_ukraineprotests.jpg Pro-Russian gunmen make inroads in eastern Ukraine

    The well-armed, Moscow-backed insurgency sowing chaos in eastern Ukraine scored a new victory Wednesday, seizing armored vehicles and weapons from underequipped government forces, then rolling through two cities to a hero’s welcome.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_detroitsunset.jpg Detroit still needs $350M from state lawmakers

    Pressure was building Wednesday for Michigan lawmakers to commit $350 million to Detroit pensions, a day after the city reached tentative agreements with pension funds and a retiree group to reduce payouts.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_malaysiaplanesearch.jpg Sub makes second dive to search for Malaysian plane

    As a robotic submarine dived into the ocean to look for lost Flight 370, angry Chinese relatives stormed out of a teleconference meeting Wednesday to protest the Malaysian government for not addressing them in person.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3 APTOPIX Police Conver_Unde-1.jpg Feds: Boston bombing suspect not entitled to '11 murder file

    Federal prosecutors have told a judge they have no evidence that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev knew about his brother's alleged role in a triple slaying in Waltham two years before the bombings.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boston police safely blow up suspicious backpacks

    Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city's resilience in the face of a terror attack.

    April 16, 2014

  • 292 missing, 4 dead in South Korea ferry disaster

    A ferry carrying 459 people, mostly high school students on an overnight trip to a tourist island, sank off South Korea's southern coast on Wednesday, leaving nearly 300 people missing despite a frantic, hours-long rescue by dozens of ships and helicopters. At least four people were confirmed dead and 55 injured.

    April 16, 2014

  • GM sales eyed for impact of ignition switch recall

    As General Motors shows off its newest cars and trucks in New York this week, analysts are watching for signs that consumers are shying away from the ones sitting on dealer lots.

    April 15, 2014

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium