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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BART, Unions Have a Max of 34 More Hours to Settle Their Differences. Expect Them to Use Most of Them.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 1:59 PM

click to enlarge Last call?
  • Last call?
Cabdrivers picking up fares at 1 a.m. at the Pittsburg-Bay Point BART station don't greet them with a "Hello," "Where to?" or even "What's going on?" It's always "So, you fell asleep on the train, eh?"

It's a uniquely unpleasant -- and financially unenviable -- situation to be roused by a BART worker at a terminus station when the hour in which one could catch a return train has passed. And yet, the ongoing BART negotiations are brewing a potential new meaning for "last train."

Tomorrow is the deadline for the four-month negotiating session; if the clock strikes midnight and a deal is not in place, then a BART strike could render every station after-hours Pittsburg-Bay Point.

We phoned negotiators for both the SEIU Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transportation Union Local No. 1555 to ask for a progress report. Our calls haven't yet been returned. Meanwhile, BART consultant (and damage control maven extraordinaire) Sam Singer was easily reachable.

"The drop-dead date is tomorrow, but no one's set a time -- certainly by the midnight hour," he confirmed. "We need to have a reasonable contract that's fair for riders and employees. Everyone is at the table trying to get a solution."

When asked how negotiations were going, Singer gave a somewhat ominous answer: "It's a good sign that they're still going."

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more


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