Workers Announce General Understanding Reached on Economics in Contract Negotiations, but Management Insists on Stripping Workers of Fundamental Workplace Protections. Union would agree to binding interest arbitration to settle scheduling key outstanding issues.
Oakland, CA – After more than 28 hours of marathon negotiations, Roxanne Sanchez, president of the SEIU 1021, released the following statement:
“Over the last several nights, all of us—workers, elected officials, the federal mediators, the media and, most importantly, our riders—have been played by a management team simply unwilling to settle the contract.
At this point, we have come to an overall understanding on economics. However, in the end, BART management is withholding settlement because they want to fundamentally and significantly change the conditions under which we work.
Time and time again, after we made a concession, management would move the goal posts, including now—after reaching a general agreement on economics—demanding changes in work place rules that have historically protected workers from issues like abuse of power, unfair treatment and sexual harassment.
Given how close we are to settlement, we are willing to take the unprecedented step of agreeing to voluntary binding interest arbitration on the specific outstanding issues of workday and workweek scheduling and wage schedules for utility workers and system service workers.
At midnight tonight, unless there were something to change, workers will be forced out on strike.”