AC Transit Strike Averted; Gov. Appoints Board to Investigate Labor Dispute

By NBC Bay Area staff and wires
|  Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013  |  Updated 6:34 PM PDT
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Late Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed a three-member board to investigate the contract dispute between the district and one of its unions. Jodi Hernandez reports.

Late Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed a three-member board to investigate the contract dispute between the district and one of its unions. Jodi Hernandez reports.

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A possible Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District strike has been averted -- for now.

Late Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed a three-member board to investigate the contract dispute between the district and one of its unions.

The board will provide a written report to Brown within seven days. The Government code prohibits any strike or lockout while the board completes its investigation, Brown said.

"For the sake of the Bay Area, I urge both sides to take this matter seriously and to continue working to find a fair solution," Brown said in a statement.

ATU Local 192 President Yvonne Williams said they will abide by the governor's decision.

"We are pleased the riding public will not be inconvenienced for at least seven more days," she said.

The union and management are scheduled to resume negotiating at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The strike deadline was going to be midnight. 

Employees threatened to strike Thursday if contract negotiations continued to fail. The work stoppage would have disrupted bus services and public transportation in the East Bay.

The AC Transit board on Tuesday requested that Brown intervene in the labor dispute and impose a 60-day cooling off period.

AC Transit employees voted on Oct. 2 rejected -- by a margin of 561 to 369 -- management's offer of a 9.5 percent pay increase over three years.

The employees' vote rejecting the contract marked the second time they voted down a tentative agreement. On Aug. 17, members voted by a margin of 576 to 257 against a tentative agreement that had been reached earlier that month.

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