by Dan Brekke, Lisa Pickoff-White, Jon Brooks, Lisa Aliferis

Read BART strike day three coverage here.

Update 7:45 p.m. Now that the evening commute is largely winding down, we’re going to sign off until 7 a.m. tomorrow.

But we leave you with a quick recap of the issues in this strike, from KQED’s Bryan Goebel.

Like many labor/management disagreements, “it boils down to a dispute over a pay raise and contributions to health and pension plans,” he says. In this case, the unions want a 23 percent pay raise, and BART initially countered with 4 percent increase, then doubled that to an 8 percent offer over the weekend. BART also says it reduced the amount they had wanted workers to contribute to their pension and health benefits.

But Goebel also talked to transit advocates including TransForm and Public Advocates. They said part of the problem is bigger than wages and benefits. “They point the finger at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for funding BART extensions, instead of focusing on improving the existing system,” Goebel says. “They point to big capital projects like extensions to the Oakland Airport and to Livermore, things they contend BART can’t really afford.” Advocates say these big projects have soaked up money that could have been used to update systems and service.

The last BART strike in 1997 lasted 6 days.

(Photo: Andrea Short)
(Photo: Andrea Short)

Update 6:15pm: We’re now getting reports in from people who have actually arrived home, and it’s not pretty out there. In our non-scientific survey of riders waiting for a casual carpool ride, ferry, bus or even combination of the three, it was significantly harder to get home tonight than to get in this morning. KQED’s Isabel Angell lives in Richmond. She came in via casual carpool this morning and her commute took about an hour. But going home, she took Muni to an Oakland ferry and then AC Transit. It was a three-hour trip. “I shudder to think what I would do if AC Transit goes on strike,” she says.

Meanwhile, at the casual carpool pickup point at Beale and Howard, Gracia Schepp of Pleasant Hill has been waiting more than 90 minutes for a ride home and no one has stopped. She finally called her husband to come get her. KQED’s Chase Thomas says people who live in Richmond and Vallejo seem to have the most ride offers. Oakland, Berkeley and perhaps Pleasant Hill have the fewest.

Andrea Short of Oakland (who was quoted in this blog earlier today saying that traffic on the approach to the Bay Bridge was the worst she’d ever seen) took Muni to the ferry to a free shuttle. She could have waited for an AC Transit bus for the last leg home, but said she was “tired of waiting around for transportation at this point.” She is currently walking two miles, uphill, to her apartment building. It’s been two hours, 15 minutes and counting.

People wait in a long line for ferry to Oakland. (Isabel Angell/KQED)
People wait in a long line for ferry to Oakland. (Isabel Angell/KQED)

 

Update 4:30pm: KQED’s Chase Thomas is at the casual carpool pick-up spot at Beale and Howard in San Francisco. He talked to Eric Gonzalez of Richmond who commutes by casual carpool every day. Generally, Gonzalez says there are just a handful of people in line who need a ride. Today there are more than 50 people, and, “I don’t see many drivers,” says Gonzalez. The morning commute, he said, generally takes 20 minutes or so. Today, it was closer to two hours.

Kaitlyn Swack is trying to get home to El Sobrante from her job in San Francisco’s Financial District. She told Thomas she normally BARTs, and it takes about 30 minutes. Coming in wasn’t too bad, she said. But “this is looking like a mess,” she said, in reference to the crowd. She’s anticipating a long trip home.

More than 50 people wait in line at Beale and Howard in San Francisco for a ride to Richmond. One rider reports there are normally only a handful of people here. (Chase Thomas/KQED)
More than 50 people wait in line at Beale and Howard in San Francisco for a ride to Richmond. One rider reports there are normally only a handful of people here. (Chase Thomas/KQED)

Update 3:45 p.m. KQED’s Dan Brekke is making his way home to the East Bay on a ferry. He reports it’s “by far the most crowded I have ever seen the Transbay ferries — every seat taken and scores of passengers, including me, standing.”

But he may be one of the lucky ones. Earlier, the line to get on the boat was  doubled back on itself. “Definitely the longest line for the ferry I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Many passengers were anticipating they may be in for a wait of an hour or more.

Brekke also notes the Coast Guard is “out in force” and keeping watch on water traffic in and out at the Ferry Building.

There has been no apparent movement today in terms of labor negotiations. “Unfortunately, we do not have any further information on when negotiations will resume or how long the strike may last,” BART said in a statement today.

So one more time …. here’s our resource page for BART alternatives.

The line for the Oakland ferry at the Ferry Building has doubled back on itself this afternoon. (Dan Brekke/KQED)
The line for the Oakland ferry at the Ferry Building has doubled back on itself this afternoon. (Dan Brekke/KQED)

 

Update 3 p.m. As we head into the afternoon commute, the post-mortem on this morning’s debut time-of-BARTlessness is pretty much in the “bad-but-could’ve-been worse”  category. From AP:

(M)orning rush hour did not come to a standstill as feared, and some travelers who used carpool lanes and other options added relatively little time to their commutes.

“It’s been an absolute nightmare for some commuters, but we didn’t see total gridlock,” said Stuart Cohen, executive director of TransForm, an Oakland-based nonprofit organization focused on public transportation and walkable communities. “Everybody got so worried about potential congestion they found an alternative,”

Of course, whether you think the term “chaos” should have been applied, as the Merc did in its story today, is sort of like use of the word “depression” as opposed to “recession.” It’s a depression if you are personally out of a job, a recession if  you’re not.

So call it “chaos” if it’s taking you like twice as long to get where you’re going, and just an awful inconvenience if you’re doing better than that.

Update 12:45 p.m. Anyone who thought one morning of chaos might move the parties closer together …. not quite yet.

“The District has informed the mediators that we are hoping they can schedule talks very soon,” BART said in a statement this afternoon.

“Unfortunately, we do not have any further information on when negotiations will resume or how long the strike may last.”

Update 11 a.m.

As the morning goes on, the ferry lines grow. (Matthew Williams/KQED)
As the morning goes on, the ferry lines grow. (Matthew Williams/KQED)

BART workers went on strike for the first time in 16 years this morning, leaving around 200,000 people looking for another way to get to work or school or the airport or wherever.

Today’s strike came after the contract with two of BART’s unions expired at midnight without a new deal in place. Union chief negotiator Josie Mooney, of SEIU Local 1021, blames management: “Clearly, BART management never intended to negotiate a contract with us fairly and squarely. They have created a terrible situation for the riding public and for our members.”

A statement from BART says the unions walked away from the table after reaching tentative agreement on 11 items.

Meanwhile, ferries filled up and traffic was slow on the Bay Bridge. The San Francisco Chronicle reported “bumper-to-bumper traffic,” made worse by several crashes. Commuter Andrea Short said she’s never seen traffic so bad on the approach to the bridge. KQED News intern Chase Thomas said it took him two hours to drive to San Francisco from his house in Martinez, about double the usual time. The San Jose Mercury News reported that CHP has “advised filling up gas tanks and bringing along plenty of water in case of long waits in traffic.”

On the positive side, AC Transit workers did not go on strike. The Oakland-based bus agency and its drivers announced last night they’re continuing to negotiate and employees will stay on the job. The agency handles about 190,000 passenger trips each weekday, mostly in Oakland and Berkeley.

Shuttle buses, carpools, ferries

KQED’s Francesca Segre said people seemed to be figuring out the shuttle bus system that’s been set up to get people from the station to the airport — although she did run into one passenger at dawn who said she “hadn’t gotten the memo” about today’s strike.

More people headed to the casual carpool this morning as an alternative to BART. At the North Berkeley BART station, between eight to 12 cars were waiting at any given time to pick up carpoolers and take them to the Financial District of San Francisco, said KQED’s Deborah Svoboda.

About 100 people were waiting for the ferry to Oakland. However, the line is not as long as staff expected.

Doris Johnson from San Francisco was escorted to the Ferry Building by her husband. “He’s here this morning because he’s trying to protect me. He thinks it’s unsafe for me to be out this early in the morning alone,” she said. “We walked from where we live at Leavenworth and Turk to the Civic Center to get to the 5 … and now we’re here at the East Bay Terminal trying to get a bus to Oakland to 19th and Harrison.”

Michelle Crow from Fremont usually takes the 7 a.m. BART from Union City, but this morning she got up at 4 a.m. and took the 5 a.m. ferry to San Francisco. “[I'm] kind of pissed off. It’s just tiring. I’m just dreading what it’s going to be like in the afternoon. I’m expecting the worst,” she said. “I do have workers’ compensation, so I do understand the plight of the BART workers, but on the other hand I just think maybe they’re asking for a little bit much.”

Margaret Creelman usually takes the ferry to work in San Francisco. She told KQED’s Aarti Shahani that “it was a lot more crowded than normal. A lot more people. A lot more sitting around. … Normally, everybody is pretty quiet in the morning. There’s a lot more bodies and a lot more chatter.”

Meanwhile, ride-sharing services Sidecar, Uber and Lyft all said they were increasing drivers on the road to meet the extra demand.

Negotiations

BART said this afternoon it is hoping to schedule talks “very soon,” but that “we do not have any further information on when negotiations will resume or how long the strike may last.”

According to BART management before talks broke down, a tentative agreement was reached on 11 items. But on KQED radio’s Forum program this morning, Randy Rentschler, director of legislation and public affairs for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC),  said that on the main issues — compensation and health and pension contributions — the two sides are far apart.

“Over time, public agencies have sought to protect their workers from increasing health care costs that have really snarled our economy for decades,” he said. “I think that both sides are really stuck in this kind of national issue of rising health care costs, pensions that are difficult; and you can see that those are the two sticking points. …. Whether or not the two sides can find a middle ground on that subject is still an open question.”

Alicia Trost, spokeswoman for BART, said the agency is “trying to figure out a balance between investing in our employees and investing in our system.” Trost said that BART doubled its wage-increase proposal” yesterday, but that the union did not come back with a “more reasonable” offer. “We’re hoping the strike allows our employees to let off some steam. Maybe that’ll help get us back to the table and come up with a reasonable compromise,” she said.

Mooney, chief negotiator for SEIU 1021, disputed the characterization that the unions had left the negotiations She said that what BART is characterizing as an offer of a wage increase really amounts to no net benefit for workers.

“If I give you a quarter in Paragraph 1 and then I take it away in Paragraph 2, that still amounts to zero,” she said. “So while BART management has put a 5 percent raise on Page 1 … they’ve taken it away on Page 4.” Mooney said that means the gains in salary that workers would win under BART’s proposal would be effectively nullified by a requirement that workers contribute an equivalent amount to their pensions. Citing “millions of dollars of surplus,” Mooney said that BART’s offer does not acknowledge that “the system is in great shape” and that “ridership is up.”

BART’s Alicia Trost, however, said, “We don’t have a surplus. We have a tremendous unfunded capital need.” She said in coming years, BART wants to buy 1,000 new train cars and a new train-control system, costs to which the agency will have to contribute 25 percent.

  • Curtis

    I’m a member of a union, but the bart workers , just like their management? R pigs. THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO REBEL AGAINST BART. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT I THOUGHT I WOULD EVER SAY, BUT THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO TAKE OVER PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

    • John Lilly

      Well, after all, it’s called “public” just like schools, libraries and utilities.

      • Bubu

        Try telling that to management who fritters your fare and tax dollars away!

    • Luckystars2000

      It is already government, state.
      Privatize BART.

      • Bubu

        I agree to the extent you should gut the managers or else you will have the same BART! Its the culture that is corrupt!

        • Mel A. M

          Finally someone is paying attention..

      • Mel A. M

        Bart is only partially state funded, they really on the public for most of there revenue. The feds only help with improvements to the system

    • Mel A. M

      So you want to pay more Fed taxes are you crazy?? I propose better accountability. Force our local, state politicians to have oversight to prevent this from happening again! Think of Enron and how that CEO stole from its employees leaving most without pensions?!! Is that what you want to happen in the bay area? True that both sides need an adjustment but by having the Bart leaders be accountable to the riding public that will determine whether they remain at there posts. I’m frustrated but i’ll be back on the road tomorrow, best to you all!

  • Renée

    Be grateful you have jobs in this tumultuous economy. Greed will catch up to you! We will all have to start paying and contributing to our healthcare plans! I am a teacher and a Bart technician makes a third more than teachers! Hello! Get back to work and be grateful!!!!

    • Beatriz Luzardo

      If they do that they will always be slaves

    • Bubu

      Its about the managers not the workers…What needs to happen for the Bay Area is to develop another route, tunnel across the Bay to take that bottleneck away from BART! Please realize that BART workers do not live to the Bay Area expected life span.

  • Ana Sala

    I have been patronizing the Bart system for over 13 years and I must say it is very infuriating that these employees seem to think they are entitled to ask for so much. Those employees should be out in the real world and then maybe they would be grateful for their wages, benefits and pensions. I would be in full agreement for an increase to improve the system in general, the trains, train tracks and bringing the tunnel that goes from the east bay to San Francisco up to safety conditions with no leaks. The trains are filthy and every morning when I take my train there are a high number of homeless on each train. They urinate and worse. The filth and smell is horrendous. I am told by the train operators that there is nothing that can be done so what is the purpose of the operator, as far as passenger safety, or Bart police if my safety is of no concern. I have also witnessed the booth agents just enjoying their social moments. Every time I have approached the booth and asked for assistance I was made to feel that I was intruding on their time. Therefore what is it that they actually do to deserve such a raise. It is just infuriating I can not believe the nerve of the unions to try to put across that they are the victims. Hellooooo, please give up your jobs and allow someone who would be really grateful for the opportunity to be sooo employed in this economy.

    • mo, a cute girl!

      Agree wholeheartedly ugh!

    • Hali

      I’m so disgusted that they are holding public hostage to resolve their disputes. Frankly, there is a lot of favoritism in that system. You can’t get hired if you are an outsider. I feel the same way when I approach the station agents. They are rude, not helpful, and they know they got nice cushion jobs they can’t get fired from. To catch 11:55 flight from SF airport we left home at 6 AM this morning and took 680 going from East Bay. Let them strike eventually they can be replaced easily.

    • Kaitlyn Fredricks

      as Leroy answered I am taken by surprise that you can make $9677 in four weeks on the internet. did you see this link w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

    • Mel A. M

      Ana Sala did you know that Bart hired a top law firm to represent them paying $399,000 for there services?? Where do you get that kind of money and why did you feel the need to do so?? Could it be the surplus they perhaps had and spent on something unnessesary? My take is both sides are not telling the entire truth but the lack of respect bart is showing its employees is un called for. $399,000 could have been used for improvement and better security!

  • Angry Ex State Worker

    Thanks greedy BART unions. I worked in the K-12 system for 10 years, and probably had a harder time than these crybabies have it. I paid for 1/2 of my medical insurance for myself and my sick wife; had to pay my own share of my state pension (not everyone gets 100% CalPERS); dealt with frozen wages and NO COLA increases since 2008. We didn’t get to strike and shut down the school system.

    This is pretty sad. I’m all for BART ditching all the underqualified train operators. I have yet to ride on a BART train in manual mode where the driver actually knew how to DRIVE the train. Any idiot can sit in a booth at an end of a train and let Bart Train Operations drive the train remotely. Seems like they don’t need the people as it is. Plus, station attendants really have a hard time sitting in their glass booth, ignoring people and being overly rude assholes when someone asks for help. You do realize why you are getting paid correct?

    It’s time that BART did what it should have done years ago. Hore competent people to do their jobs that aren’t a bunch of whiners. You people make at least 25% more money than ANYONE else in a state job. And you people do maybe 1/4 of the actual work.

    • Mel A. M

      Bart is not a state Job, Who told you that…? The best way to combat ignorance is to be informed. If they take and take from them and it’s not enough who do you think is next?? Hello, the riding public!

      • Unfair system

        Hi Mel,

        Maybe you are the one who needs to do some research before making public statements that BART is NOT state job. Bottom line, BART has the same retirement benefits as state workers which is through CALPERS. BART reimburses their employees 100%%%%%% of their contribution. What this means is that NOTHING out of the employees’ pocket. http://www.bart.gov/docs/job_descriptions/jobs/HR_Program_Mgr_Brochure.pdf

        This is the benefit many state workers DON’T have. I work for State of California and I pay 8% towards my retirement which equals to about $400/monthly and when I turn 55, I “should be” getting somewhere like $2,000/monthly provided I must have 20 service years with the State. The amount will be adjusted accordingly based on service years. I’ve not worked in a private sector, so I can’t compare. As humans, we all want more and think we should deserve better. But, I think we just need to be reasonable at the same time. For what BART employees get, I can be certain that this is one of the BESTTTTT pay and retirement package for government jobs. Especially in this tough economy, be thankful that you have a job. For the station agents, I TOTALLLLYYYYYY agree that we should get rid of them and install an automatic help button for the riders who are in desperate need of assistance. Otherwise, I believe any passenger can be a better help than the station agents.

        • Mel A. M

          Point taken thanks for the info.

      • Angry Ex State Worker

        Hi Mel,

        You dont seem to be very informed on this subject matter. It might do you some good to educate yourself before spouting off on a public fotum

    • Mel A. M

      Point taken, thanks.. knowledge is power!

  • Cathleen Johnson

    I am fine without BART. You only increase my worries, my pocketbook, and my belief in humanity!!! Stay on strike as long s you wish. You too, will feel the unjust comforts of todays living!!! Does not hurt me in the least that you are striking. Get in line with the rest of us!!!!

    • Tiffa

      you must be a lucky person that this has been so easy for you

  • Cathleen

    Life is good without BART. No noise from the trains above my home, and the Ferries and buses are a lot more fun!! Take as long as you’d like to strike. Then, you will know what it is like to live on your income in these troubled times!! Get in line with the rest of us!! Quit being cry babies!!!

  • njudah

    Management at BART aren’t a pack of saints, folks. They fired the previous BART boss, and guess what? She got a six figure salary last year, but didn’t do a day of work. If you want to get pissed at wasteful spending at BART, management (and their poor managing of the system) are as bad as anyone else. Don’t give them a pass.

  • Jessica Smith

    Retired, and being on a fixed income, of which $500.00 per month is taken from my pension check for medical only. I have no dental, hearing, vision, etc. This has been this way for years now, and I am adjusting to it. Not liking it, but adjusting. You do not know how good you have it!

    • Ar Pe

      THAT SUCKS! I feel for you! This system is so broken! You should get more money! But, that does not mean that others don’t deserve more too. We are all pretty much workers on fixed incomes, unless you are in upper management, of course. I vote that you get more money! And, it is there, oh it is there, trust me! Did you know that the 5 richest people in the SF Bay Area make about $100 BILLION a year combined? Tax them! And then distribute the money fairly, to the workers, not the management that sit on their butt and make $150K A YEAR, with tax-payers money. ;-)

  • KalK

    It is obvious that Ms. Mooney is living in an alternate fantasy reality, if she thinks that “the system is in great shape” and there is surplus money. Ms Mooney, have you actually ridden BART lately? I do, every day (well, not today!). The cars are filthy and smelly, and need to be replaced. Oftentimes the A/C does not work rendering the cars stuffy, hot and unhealthy. The parking facilities are woefully inadequate (I have to park a mile away and walk). I can go on and on… there is MUCH money that needs to be spent on the system, rather than giving raises to already overpaid workers.

    • Ar Pe

      I know, right? So, while the parking fees, ticket fares go up, where the heck does this money go to if the train operators, janitorial, ticket booth people have not had a raise for 5 years? Damn, are the upper managements just pocketing the extra revenue that we are paying them? That doesn’t sound fair! I’m all for everyone (you and everyone) to get paid more. I think that we all deserve a fair, honorable wage if we do our job right. I just would like to ask BART – WHERE is my money going to if these people haven’t gotten a raise for 5 years? Have upper management had a 5-year wage freeze too??? I hear upper management are making $150K and up… and that BART management hired a consultant for the new contract that they paid almost half a million dollars to work with the union… that’s half a million TAX PAYER dollars to work for a couple of months… I’m in the wrong business. So, BART, when you get tax payers money, pay the workers more. After all, the trains won’t run without the operators, unless you can get out of your confie office and start operating the trains yourselves?

      • Hali

        I don’t care about their labor disputes. Just don’t hold public hostage! It’s a publicly funded system. It affects hundreds of thousands of people and much more, including productivity, peoples lives (ambulances stuck in traffic). They shouldn’t be allowed to strike just like police or firefighters can’t.

      • KalK

        You start out sounding like you agree with me, but then you are actually disagreeing. Maybe management is overpaid, but that is not relevant to this strike. If management is overpaid, their pay should be cut by the board, and if the board does not do it, we the the voters need to vote them out. However, even granting that management may be overpaid, that doesn’t mean the workers should be overpaid. This needs to be measured on its own with respect to wages and benefits that other people in the community enjoy. As you can see, most people are envious of the wages/overtime/benefits package that BART workers already enjoy. Holding these people hostage to get even more is unconscionable.

    • Bubu

      What you are referring to is how poorly BART is MANAGED…Wake up people BART managers are your problem. They can’t even contain their own work force!!

      • KalK

        That’s insane, Bubu. So, management is supposed to “contain” the work force? And it is NOT the problem that the UNION is SO GREEDY? While hundreds of thousands can’t make ends meet, they want 23% raise on the TAXPAYER’s bill? Sheesh!

  • Iwant2get2work

    Unbelievable that they wont even go back to the Table and at least negotiate. I can understand they shouldn’t have a pay cut and want a raise but why cant they work while they talk. Greedy and inconsiderate

    • mo, a cute girl!

      Absolutely, wth!

  • Transit Rider

    I have little or no sympathy for Bart Union. I am for Union workers 8 out of 10 times. But Bart Union demands seem extremely unreasonable. They seem to be so well paid. Do they have any idea what the average worker in the Bay Area gets? The sense of entitlement that these Union workers feel is extremely unfair and unrealistic. As with hundreds and thousands of other riders, I along with my friends and family are experiencing a lot of personal inconvenience. However, despite personal hardship and misgivings about Bart Management, I strongly urge the Management to stay strong. Yes, the Management should negotiate in good faith with the Unions and give them what is fair, but nothing more. And what the unions are asking is NOT fair!

    • Bubu

      Are you believing what BART management is telling you in the media? BART management is corrupt – you haven’t got that message yet! Why do you think the Unions went on strike? They do not bargain fairly!

      • Mel A. M

        It’s alright Bubu by the time the public opens there eyes they will realize that they’re next! The last concessions the employees gave in 09 allowed Bart to get ambitious and spend on trains we probably couldn’t afford yet? Now they want more of the same, when that FAILS the riding public will see the truth.

  • Chris

    The BART workers’ demand for 22% increases is completely unrealistic. They are acting like spoiled children, showing no consideration for the citizens they supposedly serve. My ferry ride this morning went fine. I’m happy to continue in this mode until the unions get real. And I’m not anti-union – I still belong to the Teamsters.

    • b

      We should just boycott BART from now on.

      • tkindred

        I am all for boycotting BART. There should be some sort of organized movement to do this.

        • Bubu

          Best thing to do is to solicit MTC for another tunnel to connect the East and West side. That will put BART out of business!

      • Bubu

        I am with you if it gets rid of those incompetent BART managers!

    • Bubu

      This is negotiations….Are you out of touch with how to negotiate? Buy Low, Sale High. Get with the program! You’re believing the outrage that the BART management is feeding the media!

  • Rose Rodelo

    What happened to ALL the Surplus Funds BART had, when it was considering an extension to the Oakland Airport, a few years back?
    And I support all whom need better working conditions/wages,However,this is not the time for these HEATED issues to be TESTED,The Bay Area, has approximatley 400,000 PLUS Commuters whom count on BART. Perhaps, it is now for US, ‘the PUBLIC’, to become involved,and Godwilling, in a PEACEFUL Venue?

  • Blueworker

    You all are Paid by Bart to rant against union. I can
    See a pattern. Haha

  • Cole

    What all news outlets are failing to report on is the impact on the lives of commuters going places other than SF. I don’t know how I’m getting to work from Oakland to Pleasanton everyday. Not everyone can telecommute or simply hop in a car instead.

  • Andrew

    I’m all for unions for skilled trades. These employees, however, are unskilled, apathetic and rude. What does their role actually involve? Giving sass, ignoring patrons and maybe showing up on time? I am college educated, and gainfully employed with an ACTUAL skill and trade that I had to pay tens of thousands of dollars to be educated in, and I don’t even make what these people make… which is fine. I love what I do… point is… as unskilled laborers BART EMPLOYEES ARE REPLACEABLE, and in this economy, there are plenty of hungry replacements champing at the bit for those jobs, AS IS.

  • b

    Let’s agree to boycott BART from now on :D

  • Luckystars2000

    Why don’t I see any white people working for BART?
    Racist hiring practices?

    • Ar Pe

      I know of a kid who was my student who just got hired at BART as a train operator. He had to train for 6 months before getting on the train… he is white… so…

      • Hali

        He probably had a relative. There is a favoritism there.

        • Ar Pe

          Too much generalizing and too many ass-u-mptions…

    • Bubu

      All the white people are managers…Are you starting to get the picture!

  • Tiffa

    I agree with what everyone here has said. It’s actually comforting that everyone is just as upset as I am with this. It’s really a hard for a lot of people. Thankfully I have wonderful people in my life that have drove me to work and will pick me up. I know not everyone has the money or is able to make this lengthy commute. It makes me sick that people tell me to ride my bike to work or to just work from home. People have really lost touch with reality. To see the Bart staff laughing and having a good time at the picket made me enraged. It’s obvious what side doesn’t care about the working man in this situation.

  • Tyrone b

    Freaking out. I really hate the fact that this has to happen. Thousands of commuter getting screwed over this strike. I really see no point in this. Bart station operators get payed a ton load above average salaries. Especially the police bart. They are even lazier then street policemen. As far as danger goes. There is danger everywhere. There is improvements that can happen but a freakin strike and a bit on the end zone. That should be last resort. I’m quite sure there are other ways to influence the bart management side. I’m just really upset that the commute now takes longer then ever. A god dang 15 minute drive took 1 hour 30 minutes. I quite sure many people feel screwed because of these greedy idiots. Nonetheless, I hope this dumb thing ends tonight or bad sh*ts gonna get down tonight.

    • Hali

      I feel for you. Publicly funded system and they shouldn’t be allowed to strike. They are holding public a hostage.

  • Kevin

    I’m not sure why the bart workers who are often rude and never motivated to do better, consider this economy great enough to pay even higher wages for jobs that are a step above entry level for most positions…i mean really, have you ever tried to get the attention of the booth workers? No customer service training or work ethic.

    • Bubu

      Again..this is your responsibility to report that agent… Now comes the hard part – BART management is so lazy that do not know how to document and discipline that person. Its not because of the Union , because the Union should not condone poor service or attitude. Its the manager for not knowing how to deal with its work force!

  • qwert

    The strike should be illegal in the first place. What if all workers related to life-threatening emergencies walked out to protest? They’d have a lot of blood on their hands

  • Thomas

    Tell the unions what you think about their strike: https://www.facebook.com/ATULocal1555 / @atulocal1555
    https://www.facebook.com/SEIU1021 / @seiu1021

  • Willis James

    The unions are saying they may only net a $1.00 annual raise after they get 8% more in salary but lose a nearly equal amount to by paying part of their pension and a reasonable share of their health plan.

    Sorry, but the unions are acting like the prior “bloated” compensation package with free pension and health was some kind of norm. NO, those benefit items never should have been free or close to free.

    Everyone from teachers to Oakland city employees, to almost all other public employees have to pay 5% to 8% or more for their pension contribution.

    Even those of us on Social Security have to put in 6.2%.

    So closing that loophole doesn’t mean you have to offset it all with higher wages.

    Same with health care. BART workers pay $92 a month, even if they have 5 family members. I pay over $600 out of pocket for one person.
    BART workers have had the bloated benefits for so long they consider them to be the standard from which to begin.
    They’ll be doing great to get a 10% wage boost over 4 years,
    EVEN if they have to pay a equal amount in contributions to their pensions and health care.
    About time they joined the real world.
    Speaking of that, why should they only work a 37.5 hour week before getting overtime pay? (that reported in the July 1st, Oakland Tribune)
    On so many issues there compensation system has been bloated.
    Almost an embarrassment was their spokesman on Sunday.
    Turns out that he, a foreworker, had a 2012 total compensation of over $233,000 according to the Tribune data base of salaries and benefits.

  • Karen

    It is interesting that virtually ALL of the news reporting is clearly pro-management. And all that is mentioned is the pay raise issue. It is never that simple.

    Anyone who is employed, or ever was employed, should be thankful for unions. If you are anti-union, you should ask yourself – if there had never been unions, would I have paid vacation, health benefits, sick leave? Unlikely. The general work force reaps the benefits of the unions. Instead of saying “how can they ask for a pay raise when I don’t get one” one should say “I also want a pay raise, I also want a pension, I want to fight to gain those benefits”.

    Don’t believe that propaganda that unions are no longer necessary. Pensions used to be the norm in all large corporations. But anti-union sentiment, pushed by conservative politicians, made the general public accept their demise. Fight to bring back pensions for everyone, to improve working conditions for everyone.

    • Hali

      I DON’T CARE!!! They cannot hold public a hostage over their labor disputes. We all have disputes with our managements but BART is publicly funded and hundreds of thousands of peoples lives and much more affected by this.

    • Ae Wehr

      I generally am pro union, but not for this union.

      When the top end for people who need masters degrees in cs/mis/ee is in the mid 100’s, the fact the toolshed who sits on a stool near the turnstyle and does nothing makes that much is a spit in the face.

      They should get a 40% REDUCTION, not a 22% increase

  • Contra5costa

    BART union is giving Unions a bad name. I think they are being very unreasonable and selfish, I have not had a raise in years. Do they even know where that extra cost is going, to the BART riders. Bart management should hire new employees that would cherish having a job. Shame on them.

  • Joe

    Boycott Bart and then the employees with not have work to go back too. Maybe eventually these greedy worthless unions will learn a lesson…

  • Ana Sala

    I don’t know if anyone remembers when the Air Traffic Controllers went out on strike and the governor stepped in and basically warned the controllers that if they did not return to work they would all be fired. The replacements would be non-union workers and if the original Air Traffic Controllers wanted their jobs back they would have to start at the bottom and work their way up from scratch. In my opinion this is exactly what should take place and yes…… our governor should step in and help us victims of the Bart system. Gee I’m not a rocket scientist but if 400,000 commuters are not ridding Bart until this is settled how much per day is Bart losing monetarily. These Bart employees don’t even break a sweat. Why should they get so much….have any of them won the Nobel Prize for finding the cure for Cancer or Aids noooooooo. Therefore sorry but non of you have earned the right to demand so much from all of us.

  • thomas

    Tell the unions what you think about their strike: https://www.facebook.com/ATULocal1555 / @atulocal1555
    https://www.facebook.com/SEIU1021 / @seiu1021

  • J. Rogers

    Okay so the entrapment scam that the SF police has set up at the bay bridge is absurd!
    Where’s the grace for these commuters who have been put into an unexpected, uncontrolled situation. What about helping the community out and opening all lanes for all types of commuters. The fact that they have a whole sting set up with a cop standing out on the road pointing at cars in the carpool lane to pull over once they cross to the 7 cop cars waiting for you, its absolutely asinine.
    It’s a shame to see our county looking to reap benefits from the loss of others.
    Way to go Mr. Edwin Lee!!!!

  • Donna

    These Union employees need to stop being so ungrateful and get their butts back to work! I know a ton of people that would happily take their place in a heart beat working for what BART is offering them now, never mind asking for more. FIRE THEM is what I say! They should not be allowed to do this and be replaced with people who want and need the work. I have had a raise in years either as many of us are struggling due to the economy and I am very grateful to have a job, most people would. Makes me sick to here these people gripe when they are very well paid! BART need to get rid of these people and get rid of the flipping UNIONS! We do NOT need them!

  • Ae Wehr

    The guys get wage my vp would be envious of. The rude people in those little glass boxes near the turnstyle make more than 120k after bonuses.

    These tools don’t deserve 120k when an MIS responsible for architecting worldwide name brand web services serving millions barely gets that.

    • Ar Pe

      That’s the problem… Too much envy… Too much “me, me, me”. I don’t make that much, so you shouldn’t either… If you are working a full/time job, and you are struggling, you should earn more money. Everyone should be entitled to a livable and honorable wage. I vote that they raise your wage too… Maybe your boss’ wage may have to be frozen, or lowered, but I’m sure you are worth more money than wht you are earning, maybe even as much as your boss! ;)

  • ANTI STRIKERS

    ANTI BART STRIKE AND ANTI GREETY UNION!!!
    FIRE THEM ALL and replace with the thousands of unemployed still desperate for work and would fall on their knees and THANK GOD for such amazing benefits. When is the last time you received good customer service on BART? Uhh…how about never and completely the opposite (attitude, sarcasm, rudeness)! These people make GREAT money for a job that requires NO COLLEGE DEGREE!
    Hello…why are they comparing the salary of an attorney, Controller, CEO to a position that requires no college degree and a cushioned seat all day? And those supposedly high salaries are nothing after taxes with our high cost of living.
    STAY STRONG BOARD AND DONT CAVE IN TO THEIR GREED!!!!
    If anyone should be asking for a raise it would be a teacher and you do not see them bitching and moaning. GET BACK TO WORK OR BE REPLACED!! Oh and you can bet I will send a few of my words your way next time I see your lazy asses behind that ticket booth~

    • Bubu

      I forgive your ignorance because all you see are the station agents and train operators,,,Those mechanics that rebuild the trucks on the cars is that is grueling work! 5 days a week!

  • Bubu

    BART needs competition going across the BAY…A different entity needs to make a tunnel across the Bay taking that money maker away from BART!

  • Bubu

    People …here is something you don’t understand about BART and these negotiations. All you see are the train operators and the station agents and I agree that some should not be there…That is a management issue! There are other workers at BART like the mechanics that rebuild the trucks you are riding on. This grueling work. Imagine having to do it 5 days a week! BART management is corrupt and no one says anything about what they make. They get paid from the same revenue pool as the workers. The workers are fighting for their fair share. They blatantly lie in the media about what is going on in negotiations. They run BART they same way, with no integrity and know-how! They can’t contain their own workforce, do they try to do it at contract time. There needs to be an independent audit done on these managers!

  • Mel A. M

    People of the Bay area, If we want the truth to come out ask for Bart to open up there accounting books!! The bay area does not deserve this, but i’m willing to bet Bart has a surplus! Like most savy corporations they find ways to cook the books so to speak to show marginal numbers. Contact our city leaders, politicians, and Bart Board members. You can only take so much before employees will fight back, I recall concessions were given last time in 2009 so why does management want more?! If they want more from there employees who do you think is next?? Us, the public will be asked to pay more once they’ve sucked everything from their employees!! This is B/S

  • Unfair system

    I think it’s really time for us, the passenger to stand together and do something about our BART system. The union leaders and BART management have their own interest, which is all about $$$$$$ from the riders’ pocket. They don’t care about if we are without BART, we may lose our jobs, the traffic nightmare caused as result of that. I am shocked that the BART does not have a contingency plan at all and simply shut off the public transportation system that serve over 400,000 people on a daily basis. If we the passengers, don’t do anything, I am pretty sure that the union will get what they ask for, and we are just going to pay for that. When the next contract comes, the same method will be used and they will get their ways again. For an average pay of $82,000 yearly, this is a job that many people can’t even dream about, granted we all agree that it’s not an easy job. It’s really time for the people to speak out, not the unions or the BART management. I wish I could do that to my employer and I am sure I will get anything that I ask for if 400,000 are depending on my service. Please speak out for ourselves, and I believe we can make a difference if we stand TOGETHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Fox21

    Why can’t passengers strike and teach Bart a lesson? :)

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