EVAN DUCHARME/S.F. Examiner File PhotoBay Area Bike Share's proposed expansion to more than 7

EVAN DUCHARME/S.F. Examiner File PhotoBay Area Bike Share's proposed expansion to more than 7

BART employees might vote next week to strike

BART union workers distributed leaflets to patrons Thursday that highlight safety issues that they say aren't being addressed by management at the bargaining table, and employees are considering the possibility of a strike.

Leah Berlanga, a spokeswoman for Service Employees International Union Local 1021 — which represents 1,430 mechanics, custodians and clerical workers at BART — said the safety of the transit agency's employees and customers is being compromised by inadequate lighting in tunnels, a substandard electrical system and other problems.

Berlanga said the lighting in some tunnels is so bad that train operators can't see fellow employees who are doing repair work.

She said workers also are concerned that if trains have to be evacuated during an emergency, the lighting is so bad that it will be difficult to move passengers safely.

BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said lighting and other safety concerns are being addressed by management and that those issues “don't belong at the bargaining table.”

Trost said such concerns aren't even being mentioned in the unions' own internal communications about the labor talks, which she said instead emphasize salaries, work rules and benefits.

Management and union negotiators have been meeting since April 1, but progress has been slow and a mediator was brought in this week to try to speed up the talks, as the current contracts for union employees expire June 30.

Berlanga said SEIU Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 — which represents 945 train operators, station agents and foreworkers — will hold strike authorization votes Tuesday.

She said the unions have to give management 72 hours of notice before going on strike, and that workers still hope a strike can be averted.

Trost said she believes the fact that the unions are holding strike authorization votes “validates the signal they've been sending that they are prepared to strike so they don't have to pay more for health care and pension costs.”

BARTBART union strikeBay Area NewsSan Francisco public transitTransittransportation

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Students in an after-school community hub move quickly through a social circle as they play a game at the Mission YMCA on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Parents scramble for ‘Summer Together’ spaces

City program offering free camps sees high demand, confusion over enrollment

The San Francisco Giants celebrate team legend Willie Mays' 90th birthday before taking on the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park on May 7, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Willie Mays returns to the ballpark for a special birthday bash

Giants celebrate No. 24’s 90th in an intimate party for a few thousand friends

Legislation introduced by Assemblymember Phil Ting has expanded the range of people who can request a gun violence restraining order against someone. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Use of gun violence restraining orders continues to rise

For the fourth year in a row, the number of gun violence… Continue reading

The Port of San Francisco, which controls much of the The City’s waterfront, faces potential layoffs due to a financial crisis caused by the pandemic. 
Steven Ho/
Special to S.F. Examiner
In a financial ‘crisis,’ SF Port officials lobby for stimulus funding

Looking to right their financial ship, Port of San Francisco officials are… Continue reading

Police Chief Bill Scott on Wednesday said a rebranding and reoganization of the former Gang Task Force amounts to “more than just the name change.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Faced with surge in shootings, Chief Scott reenvisions SFPD’s Gang Task Force

New Community Violence Reduction Team adds officers with community-policing experience

Most Read