BART management is not budging after union leaders said today, Friday, that
striking employees would return to work and get the transit system's trains
running by 10 p.m. tonight (Friday) if management met a series of conditions.
One of the key proposals by leaders of Service Employees
International Union Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 is
that outstanding work rule issues be submitted to arbitration.
However, BART General Manager Grace Crunican said in a statement
earlier Friday that management would only consider arbitration if it involved
all issues with its unions, including wages and employees' contributions for
their health care and retirement benefits.
BART spokesman Jim Allison, at a news conference Frida evening,
reiterated Crunican, saying union officials are "cherry picking" to get a
deal to their benefit.
The union officials said they would recommit to all of the
tentative agreements they have already reached on a variety of work rules and
are asking management to accept the unions' compromise language on past
They said their so-called "Riders First Plan" would also return to
existing language on all outstanding general proposals.
In a statement, union leaders told management, "We urge you to
sign this Riders First Plan so trains can be running by 10 p.m. today."
The proposal, Allison said, "is essentially a repeat of what was
given at the bargaining table."
BART officials said talks involved "an all-or-nothing deal" that
called for an agreement on all issues, including management's proposed work
A management official said, "There's no such thing as an agreement
unless everything is agreed to."
Veteran train operator Chris Finn, who is one of the chief
negotiators for ATU Local 1555, said the unions and management were "within
inches of the deal" before talks broke down on Thursday.
Finn asked BART management to agree to the proposal so "we can
fairly get those trains running again."
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