BART unions issue a transportation strike warning

The Associated Press
Monday September 03, 2001

OAKLAND – BART’s largest workers’ unions issued a 72-hour strike notice Saturday night as negotiations over a requested salary and benefits increase continued through the long weekend. 

The unions said they gave the required notice to alert the public to the possibility of a strike, which would begin 12:01 a.m. Wednesday if workers do not receive a contract offer they find satisfactory. 

On Friday, BART’s board of directors presented a proposal to the unions offering a wage and benefits increase of about 20 percent over the next four years. 

“We feel that’s an excellent package... we feel it keeps our workers at the top of the industry,” BART General Manager Thomas Margro told KCBS Radio. “It responds to their concerns about the cost of living in the Bay area.” 

Union members have said the offer is not enough to keep them off the picket lines and have presented BART directors with a counteroffer. 

BART spokesman Mike Healy said Friday that management was prepared to negotiate through the long weekend. 

BART commuters already were searching for alternative transportation in case they return from the holiday to a silent fleet of trains.