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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" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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