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Friday, August 2, 2013

BART Prepares to Bring the Pain

Posted By on Fri, Aug 2, 2013 at 11:59 AM

BART management and labor negotiations continue, and, Godwilling, they've even agreed on the shape of the table. The shape of contract talks and what it means for the transit agency's 367,000-odd daily riders remains amorphous.

Delivering news as pleasant as a soiled BART seat, longtime Board of Directors member James Fang told KPIX that both sides are "just talking at each other" and characterized management as offering "nothing in-between" its position and labor's desires. Fang, the most labor-friendly BART director during the current go-round, postulated that this was a "tactic" and part of an effort to "break the unions' spirit."

Barring a breakthrough, BART workers are scheduled to walk off the job early Monday morning.

Calls to several of Fang's fellow directors have, thus far, gone unanswered as the Board is still sitting in an emergency 9 a.m. meeting hurriedly called yesterday. The subject of today's talks, SF Weekly is told, is "labor." No news on the shape of the table.

While BART management is, ostensibly, taking a take-it-or-leave it stance, labor and its allies have redoubled their calls for management to leave its controversial negotiator.

See Also: BART Unions Give 72-Hour Strike Notice

Along with the SEIU, a bevy of faith leaders at noon today will blast Thomas Hock for, among other charges, "his history of inciting strikes."

Come Monday morning, history may repeat itself.

Update, 3:10 p.m.: BART Board of Directors member John McPartland notes that he was "sitting two feet away from" Fang, whom he considers a personal friend. And, with regards to the state of negotiations "I see things differently."

McPartland says "the board has authorized the negotiating team to bargain with enough effective tools to bring this contract to a resolution. I truly believe that."

Asked if the trains will be running come Monday, he says "I'm confident they will be. If not, then we're open for a brand new discussion."

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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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