BART workers appear certain to go on strike at midnight Thursday night after contract talks stalled on Thursday afternoon.
Rick Rice said no talks are scheduled Thursday evening and the
mediators have left the building in Oakland where negotiations have been
After the talks broke off, union representatives held a news conference
to say that unless BART management softened its "hard line stance" on
several issues, the transit workers would walk off the job at midnight.
A marathon bargaining session between BART management and its two biggest labor unions -- SEIU Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 -- began Wednesday morning, lasted all night and continued into Thursday afternoon.
BART General Manager Grace Crunican has participated in the talks, along with three federal mediators.
Thursday evening, Crunican released a statement, saying some progress
had been made this week but "a large gap" still remains between
management and the unions.
Crunican said they presented the unions on Thursday with an "updated final offer" that includes a 12 percent raise over four years and $1,000 in incentive pay bonuses for each employee if ridership increases.
The proposal also calls for workers to contribute to 4 percent of their pension and 9.5 percent of their medical benefits.
They gave the unions until Oct. 27 to respond and schedule a vote with their members. The unions rejected the proposal.
are not going to agree to something we can't afford," said Crunican.
"We gave it our all and it didn't come together and that is
disappointing for everybody involved."
BART officials urged commuters to work from home, carpool or find other means of transportation.
said BART has contracted for bus service into San Francisco, but that
system can only carry 6,000 passengers. The buses will pick up
passengers at the Walnut Creek, El Cerrito del Norte, Concord,
Lafayette, Dublin/Pleasanton, San Leandro, Hayward, Fremont and West
Rice urged commuters to get those stations at 5 a.m. to
catch a ride. He reminded riders they need to purchase a round-trip
ticket. Evening commuters will not be allowed on the San
Francisco-to-East Bay buses if they didn't ride them in the morning.