East Bay commuters have more than just a potential BART strike to worry about Monday morning.
AC Transit issued a warning Saturday urging passengers to consider transit alternatives for Monday as contract talks with employee unions have so far failed to result in either a new contract or an extension of the existing contract, according to spokesman Clarence Johnson.
The AC Transit union's contract expires on Sunday, the same day contracts between BART and its five unions end. AC Transit employees voted overwhelmingly last week to authorize a strike as soon as Monday, so the clock is ticking.
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192 President Yvonne Williams has cited worker safety and plans to replace sheriff's deputies assigned to AC Transit with private security guards as primary union concerns in the negotiations.
The warning from AC Transit follows on the heels of a statement from BART unions today that they expect to strike Monday. Union leadership walked out of contract talks earlier today, arguing that BART officials had employed stalling tactics.
AC Transit officials have said that in the event of a BART strike they would try to provide additional transbay service where possible, but union officials have warned that AC Transit does not have sufficient additional capacity to absorb large numbers of BART riders.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.