The BART Board of Directors today approved a modified contract with its two biggest labor unions, an action that received faint praise and was followed up with implied threats from both sides, continuing one of the ugliest and most impactful Bay Area labor disputes in recent memory.Read more »
Two of BART's largest unions will announce a lawsuit against the BART board of directors today on the steps of the Alameda County Superior Court at 11am, which they plan to file shortly before the press conference.
The suit will directly challenge the board's Nov. 21 decision to ratify a contract between the unions and BART management without a hotly contested provision on family leave.
In their announcement of the suit, SEIU Local 1021 and ATU Local 1555 allege the board made "illegitimate and unprecedented actions" in ratifying the contract while removing a section on family leave, which was signed off on by BART management in July. Under the provision, workers who go on leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act would be paid for six of the 12 weeks the law allows them to take unpaid.
Management has since called signing off on family leave a "mistake," and the board asked all sides to ratify a contract without the provision, hence the lawsuit.
On Oct. 19, the second day of a BART strike that hobbled the Bay Area transportation system, two BART workers were struck and killed by a northbound train in Walnut Creek, adding a tragic and surreal element to the charged blame-games that have characterized this labor impasse.Read more »
EDITORIAL BART and its unions reached a tentative deal on new contracts late Monday (10/21) night, the next day restoring service that had been disrupted by the second four-day strike this year. Now, it's time for everyone to move on from this impasse — and the ugly demonization of workers that accompanied it — and try to heal the damage that was done.Read more »
National Transportation Safety Board investigator James Southworth confirmed at a press conference on the afternoon of Oct. 21 that the train that struck two BART workers was “in operation for training and maintenance purposes,” and that the operator at the time of the fatal crash was a trainee. He said two of the six people on board were trainees.
The NTSB conducted interviews for 8-10 hours with the train operator, the operator's supervisor and someone from the dispatch office. Read more »
UPDATED 5:30 PM:Guardian News Editor Rebecca Bowe filed a report from the latest NTSB press conference on the BART accident that claimed the lives of two workers in the midst of the BART strike, which can be read here.Read more »