Thursday, June 25, 2009

He said, she said...BART strike looming

Who to believe? BART management or the unions? Both sides are pointing fingers that the other is spreading falsehood. And the media is eating this game of 'he said, she said' up and presenting only the worst case scenarios to the public.

Even those within the unions are now saying different things. One says mediators will help the negotiations, the other says mediators will only slow the process and get us farther from achieving a compromise.

And who defines what is "unnecessary"? I don't remember passengers ever having the opportunity to fill out a ballot ranking what we find is necessary with BART extension plans?!?

If BART workers do strike, I am definitely going to ask my employer to allow me to telecommute. It will be more productive for me to do work in the 1.5 hours that I'd otherwise be stuck in bay bridge traffic.

BART takes its passengers for granted. We pay a handsome fee for a daily roundtrip ride to and from work. The sad truth is, we have little commute alternatives here. BART can continue to raise fares and we'd probably still have to fork out the extra mount. What else can I take? Transbay bus? I guess I could look into that as well. Carpool? I'd still be stuck on the bridge after passing the toll.

BART workers and management both claim they care about the passengers and do not want this disagreement to lead to strike. Do you believe that? Maybe they care a little but selfish interests come first of course.


Anonymous said...

"BART workers and management both claim they care about the passengers and do not want this disagreement to lead to strike. Do you believe that?"

Heck NO!

If the Board cared they wouldn't pay themselves an exorbitant salary for the pathetic work they do. They wouldn't have voted themselves a raise earlier this year. They wouldn't have voted for a $500mil extension when they're projecting $250mil shortfall.

If the Union employees cared they'd actually exhibit said behaviour in their day-to-day work and interactions with the riders (ok, ok, I know a few of them are actually nice when interacting with you, but few and far between). They wouldn't be asking for a 3% pay increase when service is about to be cut & fares about to be increased. They wouldn't vote overwhelmingly in favor of a strike. If they cared, they'd show their gratitude daily to those that pay their salary and their full benefits, including their retirement benefits, to which union employees pay not a single dime into.

To summarize, both the Board and the Union are completely guilty of incompetency for the jobs they're supposed to perform and expect the paying public to be sympathetic to both sides. Not me - no sympathy here. I say get rid of all of them & start over.

Anonymous said...

The workers already make more than a "living wage" as well as benefits better than most BART riders. Management are similarly overpaid, and worse they regularly squander money on dumb projects.

Anonymous said...

Can't agree more.

Anonymous said...

from what i've seen, BART employees, from executives to train drivers, have an irrational sense of entitlement that they deserve everything they get and more. they most certainly do not care about passengers unless it suits their selfish needs.

Anonymous said...

unions destroyed the american auto industry. they are up to no good

Anonymous said...

As a union employee I am very unhappy with both my union and management I don't believe either are negotiating in good faith and more cards will fall before this supposed deadline of July 1.

As a patron for 4 years before making the move to BART I echo many of the sentiments I read on BM, especially when it comes to the product versus the price you pay. I was pissed every time I saw a fair increase. So much so I stopped riding as a boycott. Unfortunately a few months later I ended up back on the train because the drive across the bay was terrible to the East Bay.

I do make a good living wage at BART, after leaving a flailing industry behind in the airlines who did nothing but cut pay and service while raising prices. It is a very ugly situation right now. I think to have the collective unions as for a pay raise is ridiculous! I had no say in this, guess it was those on each of the committees who decided to come up with this figure.

Coming from a service oriented industry I do care for those who ride BART daily. Unfortunately, I am but one who attempts to make a difference in this company. I love my job and co-workers. Hopefully everyone directly and indirectly involved get through this.

Anonymous said...

BART is funded in part by various taxes paid by the public so, IMHO, BART employees should not be allowed to strike.

Anonymous said...

I do believe both BART workers and management do not want this disagreement to lead to a strike. I do not believe for a second that it is because they collectively care about the passengers.

Most companies that I know of are foregoing raises and bonuses due to current economic conditions. Many of them are instituting pay cuts.

Most companies that I know of are postponing plans that involve building expansions or large capital outlays.

This is what companies that are operating at a defecite do. Why should BART be any different?

If there is a freeze on wages or pay cuts, they should be applied evenly between management and labor. The pain should be shared.

Anonymous said...

Nothing says "I care about my customers" like fare hikes and reduced service so that I can have a raise or pursue some un-needed expansion project.

Stop_the_Greed BART said...

Bring in the scabs!

Anonymous said...

Airlines claim they "love their customers" yet what do they do in order to offset continued red in their books? Cut flights? Raise fares? Cut pay? That IS the transportation industry, be it trains, planes or otherwise, some of the costs are going to be passed on to those who use the service.

I don't agree with ANY of the unions asking for ANY wage increase. During theses economic times, you are damn right I am happy to have a job! Unfortunately I have not been at BART long enough to have experienced previous contracts where everyone in a union is receiving a small percentage each year of the 4 year contract regardless of your work performance or reliability. There are slackers who make it though the system and then work the system. Unfortunately those same unions protect those individuals who don't care one bit about about how they do their job or what their riders say.