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New BART board president seeks to ban strikes

Original post made on Dec 20, 2013

Veteran BART Director Joel Keller began his term as the transit agency's board president with a bang yesterday by proposing a ballot measure supporting state legislation that would ban strikes by BART workers.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, December 20, 2013, 7:50 AM

Comments (25)

Posted by klisvak , a resident of Castlewood Heights
on Dec 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Why not take a further and break up the Union "period".


Posted by Citizen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Get it on the ballot! I'll vote for it!!


Posted by Karl, a resident of Downtown
on Dec 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm

It's about time. You have my vote and anyone else I can convince. BART union are a joke and an insult to intelligence.


Posted by Registered Joe, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2013 at 2:25 pm

This is a much-needed step in the right direction and I applaud Joel Keller's effort to move forward to a popular vote. It will demonstrate public support of the no-strike idea to our locally-elected politicians.

The BART unions already realize this; look for them to get some type of agreement with State politicians in Sacramento that will prevent local agencies from forcing a move towards arbitration and away from strikes. Fair or not, the BART unions only have their own interests in mind, and will do anything possible to prevent fair and binding arbitration.

Keep in mind that police, firefighters, and other essential public employee unions already use binding arbitration to settle disputes. The BART unions are one of the few holdouts that don't do so.


Posted by local, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Although the sentiment is right on putting this on the ballot, it is intended to be an advisory measure. That is worthless. BART does not have the authority to ban strikes it seems, that is left for the state legislature. Putting this on the ballot allows the discussion to occur but really will not accomplish anything. Personally I am in huge support of not allowing transit agencies to strike but the advisory measure has in it that there is binding arbitration. I do not support that. I support having those who we elected to this agency having the final word. The government is a service for the people, by the people, and the people elect representatives in our representative democracy and they are accountable to us.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Dec 20, 2013 at 3:43 pm

I strongly support the right of BART Union members to STRIKE!

We will all have to be patient and see what happens. Union busting is not always as popular as some of you may believe.

VIVA UNIONS! FOREVER!

My believe that the larger issue which is not being discussed is related to:

RACE & CLASS.


Posted by klisvak, a resident of Castlewood Heights
on Dec 20, 2013 at 5:37 pm

The decline of Unions in the US is well known. Bart SEIU local 1021representation is borderline immoral. Uneducated individuals earning huge salaries for pretty simple work. That is totally unacceptable by itself. And on top of that they are striking and stopping public transportation and holding the public a hostage. Service interruptions should be illegal and the Union terrorist should be arrested. After all we the people own Bart, not a group of thugs.
Lastly, some contributors to this article just CAN NOT abstain from calling it a RACIAL and CLASS problem. Obviously, these are Union moles writing passages from their dogmatic instruction manual. Sad.
Web Link


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Dec 20, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Folks will have to be patient. Place the matter on the ballot and we'll learn how the vote turns out.

In CA, the union will win.

Is it about RACE & CLASS...yup...

i rest my case...


Posted by The rabbit and the briar patch, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2013 at 1:03 am

"Veteran BART Director Joel Keller began his term as the transit agency's board president with a bang yesterday by proposing a ballot measure supporting state legislation that would ban strikes by BART workers (sounds good so far).

Keller, who was first elected to the board in 1994 and has served as its president twice before, said he believes two short strikes by BART workers in July and October "undermined the public's confidence" in the transit system and he sees a measure that would ban strikes as "a riders' bill of rights (love the Riders' Bill of Rights part).""

We would all like a RIDERS' BILL OF RIGHTS - Right? I would. Just when I'm starting to like this guy here comes the thorny/tarry part: "Keller said he thinks binding arbitration would be better than strikes in resolving BART's labor disputes, which he said have gotten "progressively worse and worse" since he's been on the board.". Better for whom, Joel?

NOT SO JOEL!

Binding Arbitration is the Unions End Game here. They know strikes in the current environment of under funded pension liabilities, almost completely unfunded retiree medical benefits for public employee unions and excessive wages have caught the attention of the taxpaying public; recent Polls show significantly declining support for public employee unions. The Unions would prefer Binding Arbitration to a Strike because Binding Arbitration favors the unions while also shielding both themselves and the BART Board from public scrutiny - "don't blame us it was the Arbitrator in the Binding Arbitration process that made the Bad Decision."

Allowing Binding Arbitration to decide Labor Disputes is giving the BART Board an easy-out while labor unions have historically, and especially during the past decade, benefited significantly to the taxpayers detriment. Binding Arbitration is the worst remedy when cost control/containment is an issue, and the BART BOARD has NO business deferring this responsibility to some outside arbitrator that will be hand-picked by the unions (if they want work they need to play ball with the unions). The entire negotiations strategy changes with Binding Arbitration in place. Unions are more apt to demand more, negotiate less, and walk out on negotiating sessions because it benefits them to push the envelope to the point of impasse knowing that they will receive much of what they ask from the Arbitrator. The unions also have undue influence over the Boards of most special Districts and, therefore, also have undue influence over management's entire argument during B.A., and its veracity.

The fact that Joel Keller, recently elected at that, is endorsing this farce legislation in the name of a "Riders' Bill of Rights" is cause for great concern. BART is classified as Special District. Special District elections are largely ignored by the voting public while the unions pay close attention. I'm guessing the unions have helped to elect Joel Feller and are now asking for payback. Binding Arbitration is that payback.

There is a reason only about 26 cities actually use Binding Arbitration as a means of contract resolution. About half dozen cities recently eliminated Binding Arbitration during the last election cycle.

Please don't be fooled into believing Binding Arbitration is needed to solve contract disputes. It isn't. We already have the Meyers- Milias- Brown act for that.


Posted by BART Rider, a resident of Avignon
on Dec 21, 2013 at 7:55 am

Yes, please ban the BART union from striking! Public employees have no right to hold the public hostage during contract negotiations. Just because things aren't going their way they resort to striking. If they don't like it they can just resign from their jobs as far as I'm concerned. Act like grown ups or find another job. Employees in private sector don't get to hold customers hostage when they're unhappy with their jobs. In fact, it's common sense that you're shooting yourself in the foot by doing that. It proves the union cares about themselves more than they care about customers. Next time just do what Reagan did to striking PATCO union members - fire them!


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Dec 21, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Reminder: Reagan is DEAD. Long gone. RIP. OVER!


Posted by a.p., a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 25, 2013 at 11:42 am

Forget Reagan. I say we all go get the Pinkertons and go all Ludlow Massacre on those working Americans. No Strikes Ever. Just pay them nothing. Oh and I say we repeal child labor laws. I hate American Workers just like all you guys! How dare they work together to improve their working conditions, increase their pay.

I mean I don't do their job and I just comment on these boards but somehow I know that their job is useless.

Look at the Chinese economy. Prison labor, child labor. Interment and indentured servitude like conditions. Their economy is awesome. So what a few workers are unhappy...boo hoo!

Bring back all the things that made America great like monopolies, robber barons, child labor, killing the American workers that dare strike, or speak out like in Ludlow CO, or Anaconda Rd. In Butte, MT.

Those were the good old days!


Posted by A.p., a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Oh and quit bringing up that turncoat Reagan. No president before or since, increased public sector workers than this Union President leftie! I mean Ronal Reagan TRIPLED the size of government during his years.

Yes, TRIPLED the size. You know what that means...more American workers in the union. Still the only head of a union to ever be president!

I mean it isn't my fault all those union workers wasted their inheritance from their wealthy fathers! I sure did not! Wanting a living wage? Ha! How about we get the Pinkertons here because This is America son!


Posted by Pololo Mololo, a resident of Livermore
on Dec 26, 2013 at 5:58 pm

VIVA REAGAN! He strongly supported UNIONS!

Web Link

he's way up in your face and speaks truth to power...i rest my case...


Posted by Registered Joe, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Rabbit, help educate me on the pros and cons of binding arbitration. I see, or perhaps I should say, I originally saw, arbitration as a benefit to BART management in that an impartial arbiter should be able to cut through the BS thrown out by both sides to reach a "fair" settlement. Maybe I'm assuming too much intelligence on the part of the arbiter. For example, I would expect an arbiter to see through the union's tactic of imposing work rules which have no other purpose than to inflate the number of hours an employee is paid for. Without arbitration, the union could strike rather than have changes made to these work rules. With an agreement for arbitration, the union would have to accept the findings of the arbiter.

I'm willing to believe that arbitration is the unions' "end game" as you put it, but I simply don't understand how it plays into their hand. My ignorance.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Dec 29, 2013 at 11:03 am

I'm delighted that the Union/BART conflict is almost resolved. All the hard negotiating by Union reps saved the day! HOORAY!

Now we can get back down to the business of riding BART in comfort and appreciating the work skills of Union employees!

VIVA UNION! VIVA!


Posted by local, a resident of Birdland
on Dec 29, 2013 at 4:56 pm

The problem with binding arbitration is it does not allow the elected officials who represent the people to make the decision. Plus the lawyers working on the binding arbitration want to keep their jobs in the future and if they vote against a union, the other unions will make sure these lawyers cannot be involved in future binding arbitration, thus taking their jobs away. The union thugs will win.

A great editorial in a local paper today which explains this in good detail.

It is time to vote out the representatives who do not have a spine. Any elected official that wants binding arbitration is saying they are afraid to make a decision and want the final decision to be made by another party, not by the board.

Rates go up again by 5% for BART on January 1. We will not be able to ride in comfort since the union has take all of our money for their benefit and not the benefit of the agency.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Dec 29, 2013 at 5:20 pm

The BART Board has voted for several more increases in BART fares.

The public has been betrayed again by BART management.

BART trains are running because of dedicated Union workers.

be grateful...


Posted by The rabbit and the briar patch, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 30, 2013 at 10:28 pm


Daniel Borenstein says it best:

"Now the grandstanding begins.

After caving during seven months of labor negotiations, BART Director Joel Keller of Brentwood, facing re-election next year, has called for an advisory ballot measure banning transit workers from striking.

He follows similar suggestions by Orinda Councilman Steve Glazer, running for state Assembly, and state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord. They're right that transit workers should be prohibited from walking off the job. Our regional economy is too dependent on buses and rail to let disgruntled workers shut them down.

But what price are these politicians willing to pay for a strike ban? Glazer ducks the question. Keller and DeSaulnier advocate tying the ban to a requirement of binding arbitration to settle disputes. It's a cure worse than the disease."

IT IS A CURE WORSE THAN THE DISEASE.

In other words the politicians promoting this idea should be voted out of office for promoting legislation that only benefits public employee unions, the very same public employee unions that helped get they these union shills elected in the first place: Orinda Councilman Steve Glazer, state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, Bart Director Joel Keller.

Read Daniel Borenstein's article on why Binding Arbitration SCREWS TaxPayers here - and he is spot on:

Web Link


Posted by Jonathan, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 31, 2013 at 12:43 am

Yeo Bunny, why would we want to read the dolt when you've already plagiarized him without quotation marks?


Posted by rabbit fan, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 31, 2013 at 2:02 am

Jonathan, the quotation marks appear to be there. As for your comments regarding Daniel Borenstein being a dolt I think it says more about you than anything else. Maybe you have something to say that you can back-up? Probably not.

The truth is the politicians promoting this idea should be voted out of office for promoting legislation that only benefits public employee unions, the very same public employee unions that helped get these union shills elected in the first place: Orinda Councilman Steve Glazer, state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, Bart Director Joel Keller.

These three (above) should be voted out of public office!


Posted by Jonathan, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 31, 2013 at 7:01 am

Tell ya what, Bunny Bun. No one apparently taught you how to use quotation marks. Please take a look at any style manual. Did your parents educate you in a barn?

I'd respond to the dolt, but it's the same message you've been posting using multiple names on this site. No one has been interested in what you have to say, despite you using over a half-dozen different monikers, and that includes me.

You've got a problem with other people, and your anti-union message only points to your own glaring inadequacy. Had you learned how to get along with others, you'd probably be employed right now instead of contributing daily laments about big, bad unions.


Posted by Daveg, a resident of Birdland
on Dec 31, 2013 at 9:32 am

Daveg is a registered user.

I wonder if Jonathan has bothered to read the link provided by "rabbit etc.". The points made are valid and to attempt to deflect attention by referencing correct usage of quotation marks simply points out that Jonathan has nothing to add of value.
If Jonathan can't be bothered to open the link, one can always read the same article in last Sunday's paper.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Dec 31, 2013 at 10:39 am

Somebody forgot to say when cheering for bringing back the past, BRING BACK GENOCIDE! VIVA GENOCIDE!

WHO'S FIRST ON THE LIST TO BE TAKEN OUT?

VIVA EVERYBODY! HEAT UP THE OVENS! VIVA!

tee hee...


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Dec 31, 2013 at 10:41 am

There's waaaaaaaaaaaay too much support in Sacramento to shut down the UNION!

VIVA UNIONS! VIVA!


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