BART Strike Ends After Tentative Deal

The Bay Area Rapid Transit strike ended on Monday night after a tentative deal was reached between transit workers and management. Workers were on strike for four days.

Union representatives announced an immediate end to the strike by the 2,000-plus workers, who walked off their job on Friday in a dispute over wages and workplace rules.

Some commuter trains will be running by 4 am local time on Tuesday, reports MSN News, and full service is expected to be restored by the afternoon.

The tentative agreement still needs to be voted on and ratified by union rank-and-file and must also be approved by BART’s board of directors. However, the solution is promising.

Both unions involved added that the deal “provides for reasonable wage increases, a compromise on pension and healthcare costs (and) work rule changes that allow for innovation and input from workers.” Details about the settlement won’t be made public until the unions discuss the terms with their members.

USA Today notes that the deal to end the BART strike will also prioritize worker and rider safety. BART general manager Grace Crunican commented that the agreement between the unions and management represents a “new path in terms of our partnership with workers.” She added, “We compromised to get this in place as did our union members.”

The threat of a BART strike has been going on for months, and California Governor Jerry Brown intervened earlier this summer to stop one. However, union workers finally had enough with contract negotiations and walked off the job on Friday. Thankfully for the Bay Areas hundreds of thousands of commuters who use the light rail system, the compromise finally came on Monday, just hours after talks resumed.

Both sides also met with a federal mediator over the weekend and earlier on Monday, as commuters expressed their frustration with the second BART strike in four months. Traffic headed for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was backed up for miles by dawn, and the evening commute was no different.

While Bay Area commuters won’t see fully restored BART service by Tuesday morning’s commute, all trains will be running in the evening.

[Image by Jon ‘ShakataGaNai’ Davis via Wikimedia Commons]