BART trains will run throughout Wednesday as the transit agency and its employee unions try to come up with a deal. Christie Smith reports.
There will be no BART strike Wednesday, though negotiations will continue under gag order.
Federal mediator George Cohen said about 11 p.m. Tuesday that union leaders and BART management are making progress.
That brought relief - and a bit of disgust - from early-morning commuters such as Brandolyn Davis, who was taking a train from Oakland early Wednesday.
"You have some divorces that are over quicker than this whole strike thing going on," Davis said, referring to the fourth consecutive late-night negotiations over the last week. "This is ridiculous. They need to get it together ASAP."
Davis is one of about 400,000 commuters in the San Francisco Bay Area who use the transit system every day.
Roxanne Sanchez, president of BART's largest union, SEIU Local 1021, released the following statement late Tuesday.
“We truly understand the riders’ frustration, because we share the same frustration that we’ve not yet reached an agreement. But we are encouraged by the progress we’ve achieved, and at the request of the federal mediators, we will continue to bargain. We are prepared to bargain for another day to reach an agreement. There will be no disruption in service on Wednesday.”
Sticking points in the 6-month-old negotiations between BART management and the unions include salaries and workers' contributions to their health and pension plans. BART officials confirmed early Tuesday to the Associated Press that some progress has been made but economic issues still need to be hammered out.
A new labor wrinkle entered the picture when AC Transit announced it was giving a 72-hour notice to strike. The AC transit board asked Gov. Jerry Brown to call a 60-day cooling-off period to prevent workers from walking off the job on Thursday.
Both BART and AC Transit's contracts expired in June.