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BART strike having little impact on commuters as Independence Day week begins

Original post made on Jul 1, 2013

Although major freeways were crowded during the morning rush hours today, so far the BART strike that began this morning has not had the major impact on commuters that was feared.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, July 1, 2013, 6:41 AM

Comments (50)

Posted by Joe, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2013 at 9:32 am

BART employees are among the highest-paid transit workers in the country. Many operators and agents earn $90K+ with pension and health benefits. To justify their strike they're claiming that it's about safety (look at the signs that they're holding up) and that they have the public's support. Well they don't have my support and it's not about safety.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:01 am

There may be a few supporters for the union's outrageous demands, however attempting to hold the entire Bay Area hostage to their unreasonable demands will not garner them any support. It would be interesting to have BART management say, "alright, list your safety concerns, and we will address them" and then see what the union says. We all know their ploy on safety is merely a cover up for their grab for more undeserved pay. What is the union offering to improve BART in return for pay increases?


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:06 am

What the union is offering to improve BART is to be up 'n running again!

What more do you want? duh...I'm one of the "few supporters" and I'm delighted that the union has decided STRIKE! I've never crossed a picket line and have no intention of doing so.

HUELGA! HUELGA! HUELGA!

tee hee hee...


Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:40 am

Cholo, if the union idea of improvement is to quote you " be up 'n running again", what were they getting paid for before?


Posted by Tom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:52 am

These workers haven't rec'd a raise in over five years. They are not asking for a lot. That our transportation systems are as safe as they are today is largely to the credit of unionized workers who continue to insist on increased safety measures for workers and the public they serve.

Management needs to go back to the drawing board, pronto. 60-80 grand a year in bay area is not at all excessive, especially considering the number of lives these workers take under their care.

The dimwits who argue that the workers are making too much are the same ones who'd argue that the AZ fire fighters were overpaid for menial work. Spiteful little old men, most of them.


Posted by not a fan, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:53 am

I have an idea, the BART Director should fire all of the striking employees. Tomorrow post all of the jobs vacancies and have a job fair on Wednesday. The fired employees are welcome to apply for their jobs back. I am guessing that there will be a very large pool of applicants given the general economy. As a part of the hiring process, hire only non-union employees. The new employees will pay more than $93 per month for health benefits and will also have to contribute to their retirement savings/pension plan. Enough with the free rides. Down the road I expect tax payers will likely have to bail out this underfunded pension plan anyways. Let's not forget that if this were a private company they probably would have closed already due to poor management.


Posted by Report the Facts, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 1, 2013 at 11:22 am

P'ton Weekly: Please "scoop" the other media and report the details on current wages paid (base pay range and average actually earned with overtime). Then "total compensation" -- benefits BART employees receive that most non-public union members pay for themselves.

I understand that currently BART employees pay a flat fee of $93 per much for health insurance -- no matter how many people are covered, or how generous the plan.

Workers are asking for a 23% raise over 3 years. Few people received pay increases over the last few years -- and many received cuts including state workers via unpaid forced furlough days.

Do what Reagan did with Air Traffic Controllers -- fire them all. BART would be overwhelmed with applicants THANKFUL to get their current pay and benefit package.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2013 at 11:32 am

Yes, Report the facts. All unionized transportation workers make 173,000 per year, and that's before overtime. They've rec'd a 5% raise for each of the past five years, and now they're asking for 23% over the next 3 years. Most of the workers don't have above a 10th grade education. And the Bay Area averages one fatal crash every other day. Fire them all and bring aboard scab laborers. We'll all be the better for it. And, please, let's Report the facts.

Finally, because other workers are being suckered by employers into taking lower wages and paying higher percentages for pensions and benefits, then transportation workers should do so as well. Because I say so. Oh, and like Report the facts above, I haven't lied at all. Honest. No, really.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 1, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Tom, rather disappointed in your last posting...............offering nothing up to try to support an out of control union simply demanding more money just to do their job. Can you dispute the unreasonable demands that they set as their requirement for returning to work? A 23% pay increase, refusal to contribute to their own pension plan and changing their health benefits to more align with the real world. The $130,000 in annual compensation that the average BART worker receives makes them among the best-compensated transit workers in the nation.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2013 at 2:52 pm

(Comment deemed inappropriate by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff) Let's provide some real facts; not lies.

There's nothing 'out of control' about a union whose members haven't rec'd a raise in five years and, moreover, gave back 100 million 4 years ago.

There's nothing 'out of control' about a union whose skilled members (mostly mechanics) make around 60 thousand a year, plus some overtime that saves taxpayers money (overtime is less expensive than hiring on more workers).

BART is running at a surplus. Workers are asking for a 5% raise after having gone without for five years. Management is offering a 1-2% effective pay decrease. Again, while BART is running at a surplus. That's the real world, Dave.

SF is an expensive place to live; and it's expensive to commute as well. Much higher than most cities. A raise at this point in time seems fair enough for these workers who have gone without for the past five years.

This leaves you chagrined? Well, you should have taken the time to organize the workers around you; you and your family would be in a better place than you currently are in. You're angry about skilled mechanics making more than part-time bartenders? Well, the bartenders maybe should have tried a little harder to acquire a more valuable skill. Of course, this would have entailed reading and writing as part of an educational process. Please try not to blame skilled and organized workers because they have made better life decisions than you.

p.s. Time to change your name now, isn't it?


Posted by Tom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2013 at 3:49 pm

In other words, Dave, with your lies exposed and having no argumentative skills or data to counter my claims, you simply reveal your churlish self by calling me childish and then retreat back into your hole. All best to you.

Yes, Cholo, many of us continue to celebrate how gay marriage has won the day for citizens across the globe.


Posted by to dave, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Dave, there is no sense in arguing with the union trolls on this site. No matter what you say, they will say they are underpaid and entitled to free pensions and medical insurance, and if you do not like it, join the union. Essentially these trolls say that we the taxpayers are suckers because we are not in a public sector job and we do not have the ability to shut things down when we don't get what we want.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Again, the numbers. These are from today's San Jose Mercury News:

BART workers, who average about $83,000 annually in gross pay, contribute nothing toward their retirement and $92 monthly to health insurance. BART has offered an 8 percent pay hike over four years and wants workers to pay more toward their medical and pension benefits, while the local Service Employees International Union and Amalgamated Transit Union are looking for a 23 percent pay hike.


Posted by Polly, a resident of Dublin
on Jul 2, 2013 at 4:29 am

BART workers who have contact with the public need to go to "charm school" or receive some training on dealing with the public, their customers. They are the rudest, grumpiest group of public transit employees I've ever encountered!

Unions give workers an excuse to act this way, their grandma's would tell them "to straighten up and put a smile on that face!"


Posted by Tom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2013 at 5:10 am

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.)


Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 2, 2013 at 9:32 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Tom, as a union shill, displays the attitude and demeanor that turns most people off about unions. The entitlement attitude, the spewing of misinformation, the agressive posturing all harken back to a time when striking dock workers used to bust heads because they couldn't articulate their position, no matter how unreasonable it was.
Neanderthal or spoiled child? Either way, they should not be able to hold the populace hostage with their demands.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jul 2, 2013 at 10:38 am

HUELGA! HUELGA! HUELGA!

Now you know why AMERICA IS GREAT!

VIVA AMERICA! VIVA!


Posted by Beth, a resident of Happy Valley
on Jul 2, 2013 at 10:57 am

Tom - if in fact BART is running at a surplus, can we the taxpayers stop paying 1/4% sales tax to BART???? I have lived in Pleasanton for 40+ years, and that temporary tax is STILL being collected.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2013 at 11:00 am

Boy, that 1/4 penny really bothers you, eh? I saw some little lady drop a quarter off of Main in front of Peets. It might still be there. Go to it!


Posted by Frank, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2013 at 3:55 pm

@Tom - Your math is lacking a bit there. I'm not surprised.
1/4%(0.25%) is not the same as a 1/4 penny. For example: If BART workers wanted a 0.25% raise, an average salary of $70,000 would get a raise of $175/year. A 1/4 penny, on the other hand, would be just that. $70,000.0025

Now let's get some real numbers. That 23% pay raise over 4 years is 92 TIMES more than the insignificant 0.25% that you rub your smug undeserving nose at. So $70,000 would be $86,100 of tax payers' money going towards uneducated, unappreciative clowns that get paid very lucrative salaries that a 6 year-old could do.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2013 at 6:25 pm

The politics behind the strike and the negotiation: From KCBS.

Web Link

Does any elected official in this state remember what happened to Detroit?


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Frank says:

"Now let's get some real numbers. That 23% pay raise over 4 years is 92 TIMES more than the insignificant 0.25% that you rub your smug undeserving nose at. So $70,000 would be $86,100 of tax payers' money..."

The demands by BART employee unions are ludicrous as is the 70K number. When adjusted for the fact the employees only work 37.5 hours per week, are entitled to thirteen paid holidays from day one, receive 6 weeks paid vacation at the ninteenth year, have their own very liberal rules for what constitutues overtime pay, and pay absolutely nothing nothing toward a very generous pension plan ...

The average pay for BART employees is probably much closer to 90K - 100K before overtime, pension costs, and healthcare plans on steriods for current workers and retirees, when compared to private sector workers that work much more than 37.5 hours per week with much less paid leave.

Frank, my point is that the 70K average income number is bull.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2013 at 6:34 am

Arnold's delirium is disappointing not only because he spouts untruths, but there is no reference to tsunamis.

The average wage is 70k. Some make more, some make less. A worker who earns 61k is looking at a $2100 per month pension, with no social security.

70k is not very much in the Bay Area. Not receiving a wage bump for 5 years is excessive. The workers' demands are quite reasonable. They haven't struck since sometime in the 90s; and they've gone without longer than they should be expected to go without.

Incidentally, the 70k average is what management has been telling the media.


Posted by Frank, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2013 at 12:25 pm

I'll use real life examples. Let's use a "Cash Handler" position as an example. I'll summarize the job description that you can easily find online with a basic google search.

Knowledge of:
Automated vending equipment mechanics.
Safe work practices including proper lifting techniques.
Basic business arithmetic.
U.S. coin and currency denominations.

Education:
Possession of a high school diploma, GED or recognized equivalent.

Employee X (Name withheld):
Base Pay: $54,344
Overtime: $42,285
Other-Vac,Sick,etc: $8,854
Med/Dental: $20,183
Emplr Cont. Pension: $6,645
Emplee Cont. Pension: $3,923
(paid by employer)
Deferred Comp.(401k): $1,869
(paid by employer)
Misc.: $2,306

TOTAL: $140,408



Posted by annonymous, a resident of Amador Estates
on Jul 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Management should just tell the union employees, "you can work at the wages we're paying you or you can quit and we'll find people who will be more than happy to replace you." No sympathy at all for the union. If you aren't happy with your job, go find another job (which I'm sure they can't at that same high salary they're making so they should shut up and be grateful for what they do have).

Just a bunch of spoiled people who think they're entitled!


Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

When all is said and done, and the BART mgmt caves into some or all of the union's demands, what will happen next? Any guesses, 'Tom'?
I'll spell it out for you: Fares will go up again. The net result is that due to the union, once again, the cost of living and doing business in this state continues to go up.
Recently, another poster complained about the high cost of living here and stated that it wasn't that way in the 50's when unions were more popular. Well, after all these years, as obamas favorite preacher likes to say, the chickens have come home to roost. You can't keep bleeding the state's residents dry to pay for more and more lucrative packages for menial laborers. Sooner or later, you start to run out of other people's money and drive residents away from the area---cause of the increase in the cost of living?---union labor.


Posted by Kevin from Oakland, a resident of another community
on Jul 28, 2013 at 10:02 pm

BART workers are pretty rude to their customers, for one thing--so they'd better learn what side their bread is buttered on. I wouldn't be surprised if they had counter-demonstrators out there who are REAL workers, who earn from 1/6 to 1/3 what they make for doing more work (citing their statistic of 62K annual wages)--workers like us who are SHOCKED that these babies have the nerve to seriously mess up our lives so that they can stuff their bank accounts or other spending habits. That just takes a huge sense of entitlement. I pray that this strike is broken and broken hard. Complaining about not getting a raise for 5 years is one thing--therefor demanding a 23 percent increase is quite another. They must know that WE will be paying that in fares, which, while I agree they are not entirely responsible for, they still must also know that many, many of us can't afford. Do they say to themselves, "Well, if they can't afford more, they should get a better job?" I bet they do. And who the hell feeds them this bullshit about them deserving some outlandish raise anyway? Their weaselly little union (to which I also belong, by the way, and which last year, under the exact same circumstances, acquired for the workers at East Bay Innovations a wage increase of 3%. We, also, had not had a wage increase in five or six years. We, also, are responsible for the lives of our customers (developmentally disabled adults); but, since we have never made the kind of money that BART employees do, and consequently our piddly little $13/hour (peak)/ $7 (overnight) wage doesn't earn SEIU any "real" money, and since they're in a pretty cozy relationship with the management, they take a nap (well, actually, our Union Rep. took a VACATION during the time between the finalization of the "contract negotiation" and the final date of its ratification) when it comes to us peons, and pulls out all the stops when it comes to BART. SEIU can eat something long an hard and full of seamen--a stale submarine sandwich. Which is what they think we deserve. Unions Inc. today are B.S. Time for workers to form their own realistic unions.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2013 at 12:35 am

Well, Kiddies, I guess the real lesson for the day is as follows:

REAL workers make 1/6 to 1/3 what the BART workers make.

And REAL workers should form unions that enable REAL workers to make a wage 1/6th of that of BART workers.

Oh what a paradise we'd live in for Republicans if that were so.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 29, 2013 at 8:57 am

Tom, ultimately who do you think ends up paying for what the BART workers are demanding and currently getting? It's interesting that BART workers claim that one of the reasons they deserve more is because the system is antiquated and therefore they have to do more. One of the reasons for the age of the equipment is the inability of BART to invest in new equipment because of the high labor costs they are saddled with. If you ride BART and support the unions ridiculous demands, don't complain when you pay higher fees both for parking and riding, and when BART has delays due to equipment break downs


Posted by Anti-Union, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2013 at 10:19 am

Can't afford system improvements now, and these latest 'demands' insure no upgrades. Sad, unions are so greedy there isn't a balance between equipment and excessive payrolls.
Yesterday, 7/28/13, Sunday front page of CoCTimes, BayAreaNewsGroup, 'BART LEADING the way on pay...Compensation for transit agency's workers is far higher than their peers' in Bay Area and state.
Eliminating executives & high-paid police, average gross pay for BART's blue-collar workers threatening shutdown was $76,551. last year. BART's best paid janitor made $82,752. while wealthy Hillsborough City School District paid it's top custodian $59,360.

Ca RANKING of transportation agencies. 1,BART $76.551., 2,SF Muni $73,594., 3,Caltrain $68,307., 7,AC Transit $59,059,.
RANKING OF Bay Area agencies. 1.BART union $76,551. 2.City/Cty SanFran $74,113, 3.Cty SantaClara $71,988., 4. Cty Alameda $70,708..
11.AC Transit $59,059. 16.Cty of SanMateo $48,718..
I so appreciate the Times for continuing research to make taxpayers aware of these abuses . Quote of a Dublin BART worker "We're scrimping by. We're not the 1-percenters". No sympathy here. My son, a professional, is unemployed for the second time in 4 years, both positions DISAPPEARED. One company folded. Then a contractor for defense company that eliminated all contract engineers. I have zero tolerance for the greedy whiners who are already paid more than comparable Bay Area agencies, and think they are too good for reality. They are lucky to already be over-paid, and should be ashamed to ask for more. NO. Face reality...and pay your own retirement like everybody else, and be grateful you have any retirement at all...many people don't have jobs or retirement.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2013 at 11:17 am

Well, let's continue to hold unionized public workers to the lowest standard possible -- nonunion private sector workers who are not unionized and who, with the exception of an outspoken scab or two, all wish that they WERE unionized. Your son or daughter can't hold a job, and so we have to hold unionized public workers to the same way of life? What kind of reasoning is that? It isn't.

Our planet is burning up. We need better public transportation systems -- BART, as well as hi-speed trains whose multiple tracks will accommodate the transfer of products between Cal and Mexico, between no-cal and so-cal. Yes, BART needs to be updated. Yes, BART workers should be getting a raise. What's the problem?

Big industry pays hundreds of millions for lobbyists and 'journalist' hacks to convince the public that there is no money. In fact, there is plenty of money. Look at big oil profits; look at bank profits this quarter. What to do? Tax them. They squawk, but they've got the money, and they eventually pay it because doing business in Cal/U.S. is simply too lucrative not to swallow a tax increase here and there.

(Comment deemed inappropriate by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)


Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 29, 2013 at 11:33 am

Tom misses the point (again)! Nobody is trying to hold the BART workers to the lowest standard possible, however we would expect them to al least be in line with the general population. Considering the necessary qualifications to work for BART, it is impossible with a straight face to say that BART union members are underpaid.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2013 at 11:52 am

Dave cannot seem to grasp any point whatsoever. If we hold the general population as standard, where approx. 80% are flirting with poverty, we don't have much of a standard at all.

Historically, the unions have always shown leadership in getting its members a comfortable living wage. When unions set the standards by getting their members higher wages or better safety conditions, the private sector was soon to follow.

Corporations don't want its workers making a comfortable living wage when they can make higher profits while keeping workers barely at subsistence levels. And the ignoramuses want to hold up corporate America as standard? Unbelievable, though a steady diet of this by corporate-financed media can perhaps explain the woeful ignorance.

And so there you have it: BART workers strike to get the wages/salaries they deserve, and the uneducated tea baggers complain because the BART workers are going to make more than they do. Aw, poor babies. Go out and unionize yourselves, if you've got the courage.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm

More information that shows just how unreasonable and out of touch the BART workers are.
BART workers earned the most money on average last year among the 25 largest government agencies in the Bay Area, additionally they are the highest paid transit operators in California.
Web Link

Tom's statement: "Historically, the unions have always shown leadership in getting its members a comfortable living wage. When unions set the standards by getting their members higher wages or better safety conditions, the private sector was soon to follow" is patently incorrect. Studies have shown that in fact, excessive demands, and yes a demand for a 23% increase is excessive, hurt the majority of workers. Economic research finds that unions benefit their members but hurt consumers generally, and especially workers who are denied job opportunities. Trade unions often benefit insider workers, those having a secure job at the cost of outsider workers, consumers of the goods or services produced, and the shareholders of the unionized business. When a union such as BART's union can hold an entire region as hostage, there are many people adversely affected due to the greedy demands of an out of control union.
Once this strike is settled, I would encourage the truly concerned to write to their respective elected officials to do what several other major cities have done and that is to make such strikes illegal. Many major cities already have in place laws that make strikes by transit workers illegal. New York has such a law in place. A strike is illegal under the provisions of an addition to New York State Civil Service Law called the Public Employees Fair Employment Act, more commonly called the Taylor Law. It prohibits municipal workers from striking and provides alternative means for dispute resolution. The law provides for criminal penalties including imprisonment of union officials, and fines against the union and individual striking workers. Such a law here would put an end to such unrealistic demands by a union out of control.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2013 at 3:15 pm

No studies cited, of course, though Koch Bros and other corps pay handsomely for hacks to twist facts to support their own interests, which are breaking up unions and anything else that stands in the way of big corporate profits and their well-kept dogs' pick-up trucks kept clean.

The standard of living in America drops because of corporate greed, as the divide between the wealthy and the poor increases, with nonunionized workers bearing the brunt. A public workers' union dares to stand up for what is right, and corporate dogs rise up on their haunches to do the corps' bidding.

"Excessive!" "Unrealistic!" Simply sloganizing by corporate toadies who lick the boots of their masters.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 29, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Tom, would be interested to see the sources for your information, i.e.
"Historically, the unions have always shown leadership in getting its members a comfortable living wage. When unions set the standards by getting their members higher wages or better safety conditions, the private sector was soon to follow". Please supply your study that you are citing. Thanks.
Also, again for your reading pleasure regarding the unrealistic demands of an out of control union here is the link (again)
Web Link


Posted by Anti-Union, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Thanks for the links, Dave. Clearly shows BART is already way over-the-top compared to other Bay Area UNION peers. Unbelievable they charge on for more. Others would want raises like BART...then more people would move away. Pretty soon we'd be empty....like Detroit. These are the same kind of XXXX idiots. BART is sticking it to people who have no other way to their jobs, making them victims of union greed. Some can't even afford to own a car. But, that is NO reason to cave to these thieves who are pushing and biting the much too generous hand that has WRONGLY been feeding them. We must put an end to this insanity!! NOW !!! We are watching. No more caving allowed, It's time to tar and feather those who screw us, buy giving away the store. We can strike too. Nevada and Arizona get closer every day. I'm laughing at all the pigs who lined up at Detroit's trough, thinking there were no limits...well, there ARE !!! The troughs are empty.
Get the FERRIES ready go !!!!


Posted by Tom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Since Dave the multi-moniker user, asks for sources on the US labor movement and its century and a half of leadership, he evidently hasn't read any himself, which of course validates my belief that you anti-union folks (singular, in all likelihood) are uneducated and poorly read.

My faves are Phil Foner, Stanley Aronowitz, Sean Wilentz, and Howard Zinn, to name but only a few. Just about any book on US labor history published by major presses should prove edifying -- Harvard, Yale, UPenn, as well as U Cal, NYU and U Chicago (these are all colleges, for those of you who likely didn't know).

Historians usually write books rather than compiling little spread sheets with distorted numbers.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 29, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Here's some reading material for Tom.
"The Rise and Fall of U.S. Unions," by Emin M. Dinlersoz and Jeremy Greenwood


Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 29, 2013 at 6:10 pm

The last comment by Tom regarding historians and writing books actually is very astute. Historians talk about history which has little to do with the current situation with BART. However those pesky facts that Tom refers to as "little spread sheets with distorted numbers" tell the story about a union that appears out of touch with reality. I would be interested in what numbers are "distorted" that Tom is referring to.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Ah, yes, the little quantitative piece by Dinlersoz and Greenwood, right-wing hacks who have garnered little or no respect among labor scholars. Support for my claim? The little 40-page screed Dave mentions (but hasn't read) has been cited by scholars ... ready for this? ... a whopping 5 times, 3 of which were the authors citing themselves. Dave/anti- and his other monikers, really all too comical. Stick to your hatred-loaded vents, which are really unsurpassable.

Fact is, no one in media land knows what the average BART worker makes. Some 'average wages' I've seen have included management salaries; others have folded overtime into the average; and none then have separated actual 40-hour work week salary from specific skill set. Oh, that's right, BART workers succeeded in getting hours cut from the 40-hour work week, something that I'm certain most workers would themselves enjoy. Thank you for your leadership, BART workers!


Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 29, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Tom, do any of the sources that you feel don't adequately identify what BART union workers earn identify that they are in any way underpaid, or are they all "hacks" that"twist facts to support their own interests"?
The fact does remain that for the overall educational level and amount of responsibility, BART employees are well compensated for their base 37 and 1/2 hour work week. To continue to attempt to deny this, start looking at the world outside of BART. Once this strike is settled, I would encourage the truly concerned to write to their respective elected officials to do what several other major cities have done and that is to make such strikes illegal. Many major cities already have in place laws that make strikes by transit workers illegal. New York has such a law in place. A strike is illegal under the provisions of an addition to New York State Civil Service Law called the Public Employees Fair Employment Act, more commonly called the Taylor Law. It prohibits municipal workers from striking and provides alternative means for dispute resolution. The law provides for criminal penalties including imprisonment of union officials, and fines against the union and individual striking workers. Such a law here would put an end to such unrealistic demands by a union out of control.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2013 at 7:54 pm

You don't know anything, Dave. That's why I trust what the BART workers are telling me much more than you.

What, no more on the two loonies you cited? Why don't you tell us about their methodology; or why don't you explain for us how two "scholars" can talk about the decline of unions in the 20th century in over 40 pages and not once mention union busting tactics by corporate America?

It's nice having their pdf up on google, however. I have a recent piece (2010) that has been cited 471 times (as compared with their 5); but I don't have wealthy right-wingers paying to keep my study posted indefinitely up on google. Gee, I wonder why corps back these two goofs? And this surely wouldn't affect their bias now, would it?

You're boring, Dave. A price you're now paying for your lack of education.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 29, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Tom, again, do any of the sources that you feel don't adequately identify what BART union workers earn identify that they are in any way underpaid, or are they all "hacks" that"twist facts to support their own interests"? Let's hear from your "BART workers are telling me much more than you", as far as their benefits and wages. Would really like to hear how under paid they are with "real facts" supplied by you.
Perhaps you could give us your BART income including the benefit package that you have.


Posted by Anti-union, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2013 at 9:06 pm

First, I apologize to you Dave, for Tom blaming you for my comments.
Tom, seriously, you absolutely are not published anywhere of any importance...union peebrains don't read or do math...just count the loot from their thefts. Most of the names look like last century creators of communist & socialist propaganda manifestoes.....the core of unions....set on the destruction of a free democracy like America.
Ship in the FERRIES!!! We're watching the 'negotiators' and at this moment in history, THEY know it's THEIR NECKS ON THE LINE THIS TIME!!! Number ONE as the highest paid is NOT something you should continue!!! YOU will be held accountable TOO!!!
Tom, all data our is good. Remember Bay Area News Group went to CA SURPEME COURT to certify we continue to have our sacred right to access all public union information. CA courts agreed, we,the EMPLOYERS, DO have the RIGHT to know how OUR money is squndered.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Dave, I haven't seen any trustworthy stats at this point. Everything I've seen in the media is, predictably, either skewed or incomplete. As such, one can only hazard a guess as to the degree to which BART workers are underpaid. From a part-time bartender's perspective, Dave, I can see why you think the BART workers are overpaid; from the standpoint of what it takes to raise a family of four in the Bay Area - what, somewhere in the neighborhood of 74k? - I can certainly understand why they would want a raise after going five years without. Although this can stir up envy among those who are unorganized, perhaps it can also motivate some to vote to unionize their own workplace. Now, if one had already distinguished himself vis--vis fellow workers as a scab, appealing to worker solidarity for purposes of organizing would be difficult to do.

So, I guess you don't want to talk about the biases and methodological comedy show of the two goofs you cite, eh? Why not?

You know what, though? Forget it. You tire and bore me. I'm out.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 30, 2013 at 8:24 am

Guess Tom couldn't stay on the subject;
BART workers easily earned the most money on average last year among the 25 largest government agencies in the Bay Area What's more, BART employees also topped the list of the highest-paid transit operators in California.
Those are the facts, regardless if Tom wants to believe or not.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2013 at 9:36 am

Sounds to me as if most transit workers in Cal deserve a raise. I'm glad that BART workers are leading the way in this regard.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 30, 2013 at 11:43 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Nearly half the riders won't be able to afford the predicted increase in fares if the unions demands are met (20% in raises would raise fares 18%, today's Tri-Valley Times). According to the demographics study done by BART, 46% of riders have a lower income than the average BART union member (incomes of $74,000 or less). Page 12: Web Link

I wonder how many non-BART transit workers are among the 46% of riders. If they also got raises, it would only end up paying for BART's increased fares (again, predicted). And given that the middle class, broadly defined, are wage earners in the range of $32,000-$100,000, which would then include another 15% ($75,000-$99,000) of riders, I don't see where these demands will do anything but hurt the middle class.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 30, 2013 at 11:53 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

And the potential fare increases to BART riders, caused by the increased labor costs, does not impact the BART labor force who ride for free, including into retirement.


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