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BART Strike Over; Full Service Expected In Afternoon

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The Wall Street Journal and KTVU local news both report that the BART transit strike that has frustrated California for four days is finally over.

California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom said “This has gotta be the last time this happens. I think everyone’s fed up, and nobody wants to see this ever happen again. The people of this region don’t deserve it, the folks behind me on both sides don’t deserve it.”

Although the deal still requires union approval, then BART’s board of director’s approval, but one BART chapter president seems optimistic. John Arantes of the Service Employees International Union Local 1021 said last night “I’m very happy to announce the end of an unfair labor practice strike. This was not a financial strike. We apologize to our riders for the hardship you have experienced these past few days. We are able to stand up for worker’s rights, safety, and the rider’s safety.”

The system was not ready this morning at 4 a.m., but BART officials indicated they expect to have the trains moving again this afternoon.

The recent BART strike can trace its roots to union talks in April, where the unions asked for 23.2 percent raises over three years. Neither side wanted to negotiate as BART countered that it needed that money to control costs of new rail cars and improving infrastructure.

The main sticking point from the strike was work rules, which dictate how schedules are made, grievances handled, and how reports are written. Strict work rules are typically thought of as good for workers who need the stability, but managers are finding their style cramped, and see efficiency lost as a result. Some of BART’s biggest changes to their work rules involve shift distribution and worker protection.

ATU BART President Antoinette Bryant said, “We would like especially to thank our riders, who stood by us and understood that what were doing was fighting for a working wage for families in the Bay Area, and that we will continue that fight for middle class jobs.”

[Image via this YouTube video of the workers talking about the strike's end]

BART Strike Over; Full Service Expected In Afternoon
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