SEIU members approve new BART contract

November 1, 2013 11:53:12 PM PDT
One of BART's two biggest unions announced Friday that it has approved a tentative four-year contract agreement with management, BART's general manager said.

Service Employees International Union Local 1021 members voted to approve a tentative agreement reached after a four-day strike last month, according to a statement Friday night by BART general manager Grace Crunican.

"We are pleased BART's SEIU workers have approved the labor agreement," Crunican said. "Both our employees and the public will benefit from the comprehensive package approved tonight by SEIU."

"The thousands of riders who depend on BART and the men and women who keep it running deserve a safe and dependable system," said John Arantes, SEIU 1021 BART Chapter President. "BART workers ? just like other workers ? want to be safe when they go to work. Today our members resoundingly approved an agreement that would increase awareness of the dangerous working conditions facing many workers and a way to immediately address those concerns."

Protracted negotiations between BART, the SEIU and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 led to two separate BART shutdowns in July and October this year before the agreement could be reached.

Members from SEIU Local 1021, which represents 1,430 mechanics, custodians and clerical workers, and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, which represents 945 station agents, train operators and foreworkers, voted throughout the day on the negotiated agreement.

ATU Local 1555 is expected to announce the results of its vote later Friday or at a news conference Saturday morning.

If both unions ratify the agreement, BART board of directors would then vote on the new contract at a meeting later this month, BART spokesman Jim Allison said.

He said the board's next scheduled meeting is Nov. 21 but they will likely schedule a special meeting sooner.

A majority of the board is required to approve the contract, he said.

The unions' strikes stemmed from an ongoing labor dispute that required federal mediators to step in to negotiate terms about wages, benefits and safety and work conditions.

(ABC7 News contributed to this report)


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