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BART workers strike, commuters left to scramble

Monday, July 1, 2013

The commute is officially a mess. Midnight arrived with no new offer on the table and BART’s unions declared the transit strike that everyone feared, leaving hundreds of thousands of riders scrambling. Both BART and the labor unions had returned to the bargaining table about 3:30 Sunday afternoon after a round Saturday that went poorly, hoping to avoid the first BART strike since 1997. BART officials say they offered a sweetened package boosting workers’ pay—already the highest among Bay Area transit employees—by 8 percent over four years, up from an offer of 4 percent over four years. The unions called that “illusory.”

Although Gov. Jerry Brown asked the two sides to resume talks with help from a state mediator, the governor did not use his authority to call a 60-day cooling off period that would have left the potential for a strike smack in the middle of when the Bay Bridge is to be shut down in preparation for a (hoped for) Labor Day eastern span grand opening. Mercury News; Chronicle


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