With the clock counting down to another transit strike, BART management and its two major unions met separately Thursday to map out strategies for the final two weeks remaining before the court-ordered 60-day cooling off period comes to an end.
The BART Board of Directors heard public comments Thursday including those from union leaders on the talks before convening a closed session to discuss further strategy.
“We are going to address what’s going on with the talks,” said Antonette Bryant, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union local, of her appearance before the board. “Everything that is going on with Tom Hock is problematic…He’s not operating on his own. He’s being instructed (by the board) what to do.”
The board will review the latest union offer and make whatever changes they feel are necessary.
“The board will discuss the progress, or lack thereof, in the negotiations with the team," said BART spokesman Rick Rice of the closed session.
Meanwhile, Bryant said negotiators from the ATU and the SEIU will be meeting Thursday to plan out their strategy going forward.
The two sides remain about $112 million apart in their respective contract offers with the court-ordered cooling off period ending at midnight Oct. 10th.
The threat of strike has also given birth to a grassroots movement to push for legislation prohibiting a BART strike. Orinda City Councilmember Steve Glazer spent about two hours at the Orinda BART station Thursday morning. trying to get BART riders onboard his new push for a ban on any transit worker strikes.
Glazer said he has started an online petition to push lawmakers to take the possibility of a strike off the table.
Glazer said the petition was needed "because there is too much at stake for our economy and jobs" and insists he says he's not taking sides in the labor negotiation.
Leslie Nuccio grabbed one of his fliers as she walked into the station but said the issue was a complicated one.
“This is not as simple as they shouldn't strike or they can't strike,” she told KTVU. “I think they should have the right to strike – but a strike is a huge bummer how's that "
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.