BART Unions Vote to Strike

Bay City News
Wednesday June 24, 2009 - 01:57:00 PM

Two of BART’s three largest unions have voted to authorize a strike, but BART spokesman Linton Johnson said today that “it’s outrageous to even talk about a strike in these economic times.” 

Speaking at a briefing with reporters at BART headquarters, Johnson said the vote to authorize a strike if a new contract agreement isn’t reached by the June 30 deadline “sends the wrong signal when a lot of our riders are out of jobs.” 

Johnson said negotiators for BART management and its five labor unions are working around the clock in hopes of reaching an agreement. 

Ninety-one percent of BART workers with Local 3993 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents about 200 middle managers, who voted on Tuesday approved authorizing a strike. 

Spokesman Jeff Gillenkirk said 99 percent of members of Local 1555 of the Amalgamated Transit Union who voted Tuesday approved authorizing a strike. 

Local 1555 represents about 900 train operators, station agents and foreworkers. Gillenkirk said he doesn’t know how many of the union’s members voted on Tuesday. 

Members of Local 1021 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents about 1,200, mechanics, custodians, safety inspects and clerical employees, are scheduled to participate in a strike authorization vote on Thursday. 

Two smaller unions also are in the midst of negotiations with BART management. 

The BART Police Managers Association represents sergeants, lieutenants and commanders and the BART Police Officers Association represents rank-and-file officers.