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BART unions shocked about collapse of negotiations

October 18, 2013

Statement by SEIU Local 1021 Executive Director Pete Castelli

Oakland, Oct. 18, 2013 – I’m surprised and sorry to be standing here tonight. In all my years in the labor movement, I’ve never seen an employer drive negotiations that were this close to a deal into a strike.

SEIU Negotiator Antoinette Bryant announces BART strike 101713 by CBS
SEIU negotiator Antoinette Bryant announces a “management strike” by BART to begin Friday morning, Oct. 18. – Photo: CBS
After a marathon 28-hour bargaining session, BART’s two largest unions thought they had the final framework for a deal.

We met BART’s demands on pensions.

We met BART’s demands on health care benefits.

We had the outline of a deal on wages.

We offered to send unresolved work rule issues to voluntary binding interest arbitration.

But after telling the public that their main goal at the bargaining table was saving money to buy new trains, BART management blew up negotiations by insisting that employees sacrifice workplace protections in exchange for economic well-being. This was a poison pill for workers: Choose between your paycheck and your rights.

We had a rough deal on economics. We can’t believe BART is willing to incite a strike over their professed desire to implement an electronic pay stub system and handheld computers in the workplace. This is ridiculous.

BART became the top-rated transit system in America with its current work rules.

BART increased ridership from 270,000 riders to 400,000 riders per day with its current work rules.

What’s more, BART never focused on performance or efficiency issues during bargaining and repeatedly acknowledged that productivity in the system had increased. The fact is that the system is carrying more passengers than ever with fewer frontline workers than ever.

BART management blew up negotiations by insisting that employees sacrifice workplace protections in exchange for economic well-being. This was a poison pill for workers: Choose between your paycheck and your rights.

The rules we’re focused on protect basic rights. Like the eight-hour workday. Like past practice language that protect our workers from punishment and retribution when they report favoritism, sexual harassment and other problems in the workplace.

In the end, we’re willing to let a neutral third-party arbitrator help both sides work through the differences on work rules and reach final agreement on the economic package discussed on the last 28-hour bargaining session.

Despite reports that BART General Manager Grace Crunican and Board Chair Tom Radulovich are trying to meet with our union, I want to confirm that neither has contacted me nor the other top staff of the union to restart talks since bargaining broke up this afternoon.

For more information, contact Cecille Isidro at Cecille.Isidro@seiu1021.org.

 

2 thoughts on “BART unions shocked about collapse of negotiations

  1. waynecaptai\\\

    BART GENERAL MANAGER GRACE CRUNICAN and MANAGEMENT SHOULD RE- GROUP and train a secondary force that would appreciate the job and hire them, the current employees done got spoiled with the 30- 40 plus an hr.(wow) the black and other communities will perform its task of responsibilities for, far less ,and be even more efficient and effective.

    Reply
  2. WAYNECAPTAIN

    Greed at it most high , amongst its union and employees ;train a secondary force that would appreciate and enjoy the job (SPOIED BRATS) MANAGEMENT SHOULD FIRE AND RE-HIRE- NOTE:DO THE ABOVE FIRST. THE COMMUNITIES WOULD LOVE TO GET THE OPPORTUNITY…

    Reply

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