With no indication that the striking BART workers would end the strike in time for Monday, the San Francisco region was preparing for another day of gridlock on freeways and bridges clogged with commuters who would ordinarily be traveling by train. BART, the nation’s fifth-largest commuter rail system, has an average weekday ridership of 400,000.
BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said Sunday that transit officials and labor leaders have been in contact over the weekend, but the two sides did not have any plans to return to the bargaining table.
BART presented what it called its last and final offer to its unions a week ago but is open to restarting the negotiations if that is what the federal mediator overseeing the process wants, Trost said. The system’s directors plan to hold a special closed meeting on Monday, she said.
The deaths of two workers in an accident has spurred everyone’s commitment, she said.
“The tragedy has redoubled everyone’s commitment to a quick resolution so we can move forward in a spirit of cooperation to provide service to the Bay Area,” she said.
Amalgamated Transit Union local president Antonette Bryant said over the weekend that she would take BART’s final contract before members for a vote this week–which is what BART management has been urging for days–but expects it will be rejected.
The unions–the transit union and the Service Employees International Union Local 1021–also submitted another counter proposal on Sunday, reported KTVU.
The proposal “would allow for changes in work rules related to implementing new technology, but retain work rules related to worker and passenger safety.” More specific details weren’t given by the unions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.