Bay Area Rapid Transit close to a strike deadline

Oct. 14, 2013 at 12:01 PM

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Union transit workers in San Francisco and Oakland, Calif., said they would begin a strike Tuesday if negotiators failed to reach a deal Monday.

The Oakland Tribune reported Monday members of the Amalgamated Transit Union postponed a strike set for Thursday, but extended the deadline three days, then one more day, as a union leader said a deal was close for workers at the Bay Area Rapid Transit, commonly known as BART.

"We were so close to getting a deal," said Antonette Bryant, president of the local Amalgamated Transit Union.

BART General Manager Grace Crunican late Sunday declared its most recent offer was its "last, best and final offer," which is a legal declaration that gives BART management the right to declare negotiations are gridlocked. At that point, BART management can impose a contract of its own, the newspaper said.

"We need to bring this to a close. It's been long enough," said BART general manager Grace Crunican.

BART's offer included a 12 percent raise over four years. The previous contract offer included a 10.25 percent raise over four years.

The union represents 2,300 workers who operate the country's fifth largest commuter subway and rail system, the Tribune said.

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