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Golden Gate Bridge workers authorize strike

A container ship heads out to the Pacific Ocean as the late afternoon fog begins to cover the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito, Calif., Aug. 11, 2008. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Bay City News
Workers in 13 unions in the Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition voted on Monday in favor of a strike, but another negotiating session with the bridge district on a new contract is scheduled for Monday, the labor coalition's spokesman said.

The 450 workers in the labor coalition include Golden Gate Ferry captains, deckhands, terminal assistants, mechanics with Golden Gate Ferry and Golden Gate Transit, and bridge ironworkers, electricians, operating engineers and inspectors, spokesman Alex Tonisson said.

The vote to authorize a strike was unanimous among the 13 unions. There would be a one-day notice before a strike took place, Tonisson said.

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District's board of directors is meeting Friday. Bridge Manager Kary Witt said the district is hopeful a strike will be avoided.

"All parties are bargaining in good faith," Witt said last week when the unions were voting on whether to authorize a strike.

District officials offered a 3 percent wage increase in each year of the three-year contract, but also wants the employees to contribute 2 percent of their wages toward health care premiums, Tonisson said.

The district also wants a higher deductible health care plan for employees, Tonisson said.

The unions are asking for a 3.75 percent annual raise in each of the three years and are willing to pay 0.5 percent of their wages for one year toward the premiums, Tonisson said.
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business labor unions unions strike jobs health care golden gate bridge transportation boats construction San Francisco Sausalito Marin
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