Unions said they agreed to go back to work so their members could start getting paid again and because they were concerned for BART riders. But four labor experts and many riders interviewed Friday thought the unions were bowing to the public pressure that was directed at workers on the picket lines.
Union officials insist they didn't cave by returning to work but simply wanted to show their goodwill to the 200,000 people who depend on the rail line each weekday.
where we were."
"I think they will put both parties under the gun to come to a good agreement for everybody," said Josie Mooney, chief negotiator for the local Service Employees International Union, one of the two groups representing 2,300 blue collar workers. "I don't want to think about the dire consequence it will cause if we don't."
State mediators issued a gag order on the latest proposals late Tuesday. But before then, the latest proposals from each side were far different.
been made recently. Aug. 4, any raises to pay and employee contributions to benefits negotiated in the meantime will be retroactive to July 5. In the meantime, workers cannot strike and management cannot impose a contract on the unions, as the BART board had hinted it might. California Labor Secretary Marty Morgenstern and two top mediators would control the negotiating schedule and public release of information.
"I'm hoping they'll resolve and each side will get what they need," said Ryan Williams, 47, who had to rent a Zipcar this week to reach his job at the Dixie restaurant in San Francisco.
Station Agent Antoinette (no last name given) removes tape and a closed sign before allowing Mens Nike Air Max 2015 Reflective passengers to enter the gates at the Embarcadero BART station in San Francisco on July 5, 2013. BART had been closed for nearly five days during a strike Mens Nike Air Max Thea Size 10
"I almost lost my job," Oakland chef Lucas Gorman, 23, said as he boarded one of the first trains on Friday after spending the week begging friends for rides. "It was an extreme inconvenience."
Antonette Bryant, president of the local Amalgamated Transit Union, was more blunt: "If they don't come back to the table, there's going to be a problem."
Both sides said they were optimistic they would make progress, pointing to their faith in Gov. Jerry Brown's new mediators, who had urged BART employees to continue working under their old contract as they try to hash out a deal.
"Now (BART) really knows the stakes," said Harley Shaiken, a UC Berkeley professor who specializes in labor issues. "The fact that unions did go on strike that sets the stage for the future negotiations."
before management and the unions agreed to resume service for 30 days while they hammer out a new contract. (Gary Reyes/Staff)
BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said "it became clear that we were going to need much more than just a few days" to resolve the ongoing fight over pay, pension contributions and health care benefits. State mediators have issued a gag order preventing both sides from publicly releasing their latest proposals, but both sides and even the mediators have made it clear that not much progress has Nike Air Max 2015 Black Blue Green
Williams, who was one of the first riders back on the train on Friday, said he hoped the two sides would "meet in the middle." Otherwise, he said, in 30 days riders will be "right back Nike Air Max Thea White And Black Trainers
OAKLAND BART trains began rolling again Friday, ending a 4 strike for now. But the only thing the two sides appear to agree on is just how far apart they are from settling a labor dispute that could soon cripple the Bay Area commute once again.
August strike threat remains
Despite the long term uncertainty, most commuters were simply glad to know the trains are once again running.
Experts said while it's more common for unions such as nurses to use short term strikes as a negotiating tactic, it's hardly unprecedented for workers to take a break before they resume striking.
Without a deal by Aug. 4, BART's blue collar union workers may walk off the job once more. The scenario left commuters on edge and raised the stakes on bargaining talks set to continue next week.
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