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Experts: BART strike reprieve likely to last another two months

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Governor Jerry Brown’s intervention to prevent BART workers from walking off the job for at least a week is likely the first step towards his declaring a 60-day cooling off period. Experts are saying that if history is a guide, the governor, who temporarily short-circuited a strike by appointing a 3-member panel to investigate the negotiations, is likely to declare a cooling off period later this week, as governors have done in the last five BART labor disputes between 1998 and 2001.

An excerpt from the Mercury News:

In every instance, as the deadline for a deal approached, the governor appointed a three-member "fact-finding" committee to forestall a strike for a week while the panel investigated whether both sides were bargaining in good faith. By the end of the week, the governor -- citing the board's findings -- declared the strike would "endanger the public's health, safety or welfare," as the law requires, and secured an injunction from a judge to halt a BART shutdown for 60 days.

"I would think we're heading toward more of the same," said William Gould, a Stanford emeritus professor of law who specializes in labor issues. The seven-day delay "never works. We have to look at the record, and the record is not promising."

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