No BART strike Wednesday; negotiations continue

Commuters remain in limbo as talks between BART and its unions continue, but trains will run on Wednesday.
October 16, 2013 12:53:24 AM PDT
Commuters remain in limbo as talks between BART and its unions continue. Both sides are under a gag order requested by a federal mediator who joined the talks late Sunday.

There were a lot fewer fireworks than there were on Monday, perhaps both sides are tired, or maybe they are making some real progress.

BART General Manager Grace Crunican is at the table, which is something the unions have wanted all along. There are also three federal mediators working with the two sides and both have said the presence of George Cohen in particular has made a big difference.

Beyond that, BART is sticking to its last, best and final offer in terms of its $57 million total, but they are open to modifying the details within it.

Tuesday evening, Cohen announced that negotiations are continuing and there will be no strike Wednesday.

"On behalf of themselves and in support of the public interest and all of the riders in this area, there will be train service operating all day tomorrow," he said.

SEIU Local 1021 President Roxanne Sanchez said in a statement, "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."

More about Federal mediator George Cohen

Cohen is known for finding common ground in several high profile cases. He's a lawyer by training and used to teach at Georgetown University. He was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009 as director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to help end major disputes that are hurting the economy.

Cohen has mediated disputes between the National Basketball Association and the NBA Players Association, the National Football League and its players, as well as a labor dispute involving the Federal Aviation Administration.

Stay with ABC7NEWS.COM for updates on the looming BART strike and information on how to get around if the trains stop running. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ and download our news app for the latest news whenever and wherever you want.


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