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San Francisco narrowly averts crippling transit workers' strike

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- San Francisco area transit officials said they reached a deal an hour before a threatened midnight walkout by bus drivers, mechanics and dispatchers.

After a day of negotiations, the Alameda Contra-Costa Transit District and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192 announced they had decided on a 9.5 percent raise over three years for the more than 1,600 drivers, clerical workers and other employees, the Oakland Tribune reported Wednesday.

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The deal will spare the district's 181,000 daily commuters a strike that was poised to begin at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, the Tribune reported.

"I'm satisfied that the buses are running, that our members' contract provisions have been preserved, and that our members continue to work and be able to support their families," said ATU Local President Yvonne Williams, adding she had been worried as the walkout deadline neared.

"This was a long and often intense negotiation, and there are no winners or losers in this outcome. We are happy we were able to get through the process without any disruption in service," AC Transit General Manager David Armijo said.

The San Francsico Chronicle reported AC Transit wanted workers to begin paying part of their healthcare premiums. Employees will pay $70 per month in the first year, $140 the second year and $180 in the third year.

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