Bay Area Transit Strike Ends After BART, Unions Reach Tentative Agreement

 @AmruthaGayathri
on October 22 2013 3:25 AM
BART
A man turns away at the Powell Street station after learning of a strike by employees of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in San Francisco on Oct. 21, 2013. Reuters

The management of Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, and representatives of its two largest unions reached an agreement on Monday night to end a four-day strike that left hundreds of thousands of commuters scrambling for alternate means of transport.

The service will resume at 4 a.m. PDT on Tuesday, likely in limited capacity, BART said in a statement, and full service is expected to be restored later in the day. The agreement reached between the two sides is tentative and is subject to approval by the unions’ members and BART executives.

“We are pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement with union leadership that will bring the trains back into service, starting tomorrow, while union members consider the agreement and vote on it,” BART General Manager Grace Crunican said in a statement, without providing details about the agreement. “This is a good package for our union members while still allowing the District to make the necessary investments in our infrastructure. That investment is critical to the future of the Bay Area.”

The strike was triggered by disagreements over work rules between BART management and unions.

On Sunday, two workers were killed after being run over by a train, which was being operated by an inexperienced BART employee who was undergoing training to operate a train as a contingency measure in the wake of the shutdown due to the workers’ strike, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Union leaders described the measure unsafe and filed a case in Alameda County Superior Court to prevent BART management from continuing the practice.

“This has been a long and difficult negotiation. Our thanks to all of you in the public for your patience through this very difficult process,” Crunican said.

The 104-mile-long BART network carried almost 400,000 passengers on weekdays in the April to June quarter, according to information available on the organization's website.

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