BART, unions hold daylong negotiations

July 12, 2013 7:08:36 PM PDT
Bay Area commuters are holding their breath as they wait to see if BART and its biggest unions can reach an agreement and avoid another strike. The pickets are gone and the trains are running, but so are the accusations. ABC7 News checked in on the labor battle.

Negotiators wrapped up around 6 p.m. Friday, in Downtown Oakland. It was a positive sign the daylong negotiations took place. No one is watching more closely, than those who depend on BART to get around.

BART and its two major unions returned to the bargaining table Friday morning, back in the same room for the first time in about a week. This all comes after the two sides agreed to extend the current contract for 30 days, so they could iron out their significant differences. So far, there has been some progress on some minor issues, but still a long way to go.

"The union is prepared to negotiate, as I said, 24 hours a day between now and August 5. If we could achieve an agreement by tomorrow, we would. But it takes two parties to negotiate," said Josie Mooney, a Union negotiator.

The union is taking issue with the fact BART's lead negotiator, Thomas Hock, will be unavailable from July 24-28. BART claims there will still be plenty of negotiating time between now and early August.

"10 to 15 percent hurt on business," said Sun Chau, an Orinda cab driver.

Avoiding another strike is of great concern to Chau who lost a fair amount of his income during last week's walkout.

Anthony: "So you hope they reach an agreement?"
Chau: "Yeah, I hope they reach an agreement at some point."

BART riders and those who rely more on their cars are also hoping for a speedy resolution.

"I just hope it does worked out, so I don't have to spend hours in the car," said Talin Mobley, a commuter.

"I think that they have to compromise. I think that's the only way you solve a problem like this," said Charlene Ashton, a BART rider.

We understand that the progress that was made on Friday are issues around safety that the unions are concerned about. The big sticking points remain around pay and benefits. They will be back at the bargaining table on Monday.


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