In an unexpected twist, BART unions will be going on strike at midnight after federal mediators announced they are returning to Washington after failing to help broker a deal.
BART General Manager Grace Crunican said the sticking point has to do with work rules.
Antonette Bryant, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, called the impending action “an unfair labor rights strike.”
Bryant said at the last minute, management threw in a clause that compromised the workers’ rights.
“This is not a union strike,” Bryant said. “This is a management strike.”
Crunican disagreed, saying it is the union’s decision to strike.
“This contract…is all about the long-term sustainability of BART,” Crunican said. “The unions decided they wanted to take the money that was on the table, but not the work rules that were on the table, and they forced us to put an offer on the table that was black-and-white.”
The union and management representatives had been working for 33 hours straight before it all fell apart.