BART workers have announced they will go on strike beginning Friday morning, after tens of hours of late-night negotiations with high level mediators and a week past their strike deadline. We talk about the breakdown in labor negotiations and how commuters are faring.

Roxanne Sanchez, president of SEIU 1021 San Francisco
Alicia Trost, spokesperson for BART
Dan Brekke, blogger and online editor for KQED News

  • Bob Fry

    More terrorizing and hostage-taking, this time from the left-wing. It never ends.

    • Cathy

      I’m liberal and am as sick of these strikes as anyone else. I support unions, in general. It doesn’t mean I think they’re entitled to anything they want.

    • Chris OConnell

      Do you really think it is an equivalent comparison? The BART workers going on strike is the equivalent of the House Republican Party shutting down the government and bringing us to the brink of default? I have a hard time supporting the BART strike, but I think it is a false equivalency and a ridiculous attempt to say, “See, both sides do it.”

  • erictremont

    In 1968, Martin Luther King gave his life to help sanitation workers in Memphis, who were paid miserably low wages and treated like slaves. In 2013, the SEIU’s BART workers are going on strike to maintain (among other things) their right to receive paper paycheck stubs and manipulate sick pay rules. And the SEIU’s leadership wonders why the public is fed up. Go figure.

    • Bob Fry

      Hear, hear! As a state worker I’ve seen SEIU over and over make decisions that screw the worker and favor the SEIU top management. I’m pro-union WHEN they have legitimate gripes. That simply doesn’t seem to apply here.


    Bart is a public service, paid for by taxpayers and fare-payers, there is no way that these overpaid semi-skilled “workers” disrupt hundreds-of-thousands of honest workers livelihoods. If they dont like the job, quit…., there are thousands to take your place!!!

  • Dave

    Every argument I’ve heard from the BART unions is vague and general (“we’re the best system”, “this is about fairness”) while the BART agency has always discussed specifics in terms of liabilities and costs. I will say that I find the vague arguments from the union much less compelling, especially when I can look online and see total compensation packages for BART employees that are mostly in six digits.

    • Bill Recto

      Well Look we had state shutdowns before simply because 2/3rd of the
      state congress, Governors Davis and Schwartzeneggar can’t get the
      California budget in order and we fell of the fiscal cliff every year. But this time its Bart Management and Bart Employees accusing each other of polarizing the debate and 400k riders are the witnesses here. Boy some of us wish that the Embarcadero freeway, The Southern Crossing from I-380 to I-238 and the old Central Freeway were here today.

  • trite

    Get back to the table, for heaven’s sake.

  • moseman233

    The SEIU rep and the BART spokesperson were both pathetic. My six and nine year old are better at negotiating over the last piece of cake. On the other hand, Dave Iverson was a fantastic facilitator of common sense and would not let these people lean on their talking points. Dave, I submit this dispute to YOUR binding arbitration and we’ll be back at the commute on Monday.

  • GaryWolf

    I think Mr Iverson is an excellent host. However, the production decision to give this topic – obviously the most important news topic in the Bay Area today – such a short slot was a mistake. Forum is the place where there ought to be a full 2 hour conversation about this, so we can get beneath the surface. I listened closely, and agree with other listeners that the SEIU rep was not at all convincing, but I suspect there is a deeper story here that was completely missed. I would have liked this segment to go deeper, and I think this would have happened quite quickly had more time been given. If the strike is still on Monday, it deserves a full show.

  • SimF

    Amtrak Capitol Corridor runs from Pinole to Richmond to Berkeley to Oakland to Hayward, Fremont and San Jose. Why won’t NPR mention this as an alternate option for some BART riders?

    • Bill Recto

      I know Caltrain, Ferry, Carpool, Bus was mentioned a bit on the KQED News and Cars. Amtrak for some reason is only mentioned as a Sacramento to Oakland route in the traffic reports. But I agree its crazy that we have to go through 2 shutdowns in 18 days the National Federal Shutdown by Ted Cruz and the Local Bart Shutdown by Bart Unions and Bart Management. But For Some reason when I listened to KPFA there’s always a Pacifica Broadcasting shutdown because of The Pacifica Boards and the affiliates over royalty fees and Donor fees.

  • SimF

    For example, a (not very knowledgeable) NPR commentator this morning commented on the only commute option for a woman without a car going from Hercules to Hayward as being “AC Transit buses the entire way”. Did the House of Representatives ban NPR from noting the existence of relevant Amtrak routes? Capitol Corridor is infrequent, but runs from Hercules and RIchmond to Hayward. It’s a 3 hour bus ride. The Amtrak train is a great alternate.

  • Slappy

    Televise the talks and I guarantee that these strikes will stop.

  • Doug F

    Other commentators are correct–Forum should’ve devoted an hour to BART, the other hour to the national debt & budget problems, & put the photographer off ’til another day.

    I’d like to thank Ms Sanchez for letting the whole Bay Area hear, in her own words, just how stupid, ignorant, irrational, intellectually dishonest & greedy she & her union are. You’ve just called your last strike, honey–your own actions have created overwhelming public support for a no-strike law for BART. And I’m in favor of unions, where workers really are underpaid, don’t have health insurance, &/or are having their rights trampled on.

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