More train wrecks at BART

By Tim Redmond

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Lots of trouble brewing at BART.

In a conference call yesterday, the unions representing BART workers talked about management’s insistence on a new contract — one that includes major concessions — by the end of June. That’s too soon, the union folks say; the BART proposal is too complicated and the system’s finances too confusing to sort out in just a couple of weeks.

In fact, when I asked the three union reps (Jean Hamilton of AFSCME, Jesse Hunt of ATU and Lisa Isler of SEIU 1021) whether they thought BART, even in these tough times, had enough money to meet the workers’ demands without further fare hikes, they insisted the money was there.

They also said that they won’t accept management’s plan to impose a new contract unilaterally July 1 — which means there could conceivably be a BART strike this summer. That would utterly screw up Bay Area transportation. I don’t think it’s going to happen, and neither, I gathered, did the union reps, but the threat is out there.

Meanwhile, the BART police oversight situation continues to deteriorate.