The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has until midnight Thursday to arrive at an agreement with its labor unions. Negotiators offered a last second contract proposal Thursday afternoon in an effort to avoid a Friday morning shutdown that will affect some 400,000 riders in the San Francisco Bay Area.
As of 6pm, BART and union officials were still negotiating. No deal had been reached, and to the frustration of Bay Area residents, union officials hadn’t made an announcement about whether or not they would strike.
So is the BART going on strike tomorrow?
— Anna Jumrat (@WsupItsAnna) October 11, 2013
— Ishita Ghosh (@GoshIshita) October 11, 2013
Praying that #BART doesn't strike…..
— Brittany (@sustainivore) October 11, 2013
Seriously BART workers. Stop being so selfish, make up your minds and tell us when you're going to strike. None of this wishy-washy shit.
— Dar (@DarianJenette) October 11, 2013
— Tom Vacar (@TomVacarKTVU) October 10, 2013
Today marks the end of a 60-day cooling off period ordered by California governor Jerry Brown back in August. Not surprisingly, one of the big points of contention in the negotiations is wage increases. The opposing sides were getting closer to an agreement when an all-day negotiation session fell through Wednesday night due to what BART called a “miscommunication.”
Union officials claim that management caused Wednesday’s break-down in negotiations by taking back a recent offer. Josie Mooney, chief negotiator for one of the two major labor unions involved said “We were stunned.”
As negotiations continue, Bay Area commuters hold their breath and hope that they won’t see a repeat of the July strike that slowed automobile traffic on freeways and bridges to a crawl and overtaxed the city’s busses and ferries.
Image via Wikimedia Commons