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BART strike postponed again - this time for 7 days (or is it 60 days?)

Original post made on Aug 5, 2013

BART's unions agreed Sunday night to postpone a scheduled strike against the transit system for at least seven days at the request of Gov. Jerry Brown who wants an investigation of issues affecting the labor dispute.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, August 4, 2013, 10:23 PM

Comments (27)

Posted by citizen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2013 at 8:38 am

First good thing "Moonbeam" has done in his administration! Maybe he's looking for employees for his bullet train to nowhere. Ya think!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 5, 2013 at 9:17 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

This is a great move by the Governor. But what happened to the state appointed mediator?


Posted by SKJ, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2013 at 9:29 am

Tom Vacar was just on KGO saying it is 7 days only. The first delay was an '[agreement between' the two parties. Governor Brown still has never ask a judge to require a 60 day cooling off period.


Posted by Joanna, a resident of Downtown
on Aug 5, 2013 at 6:08 pm

The posters who refer to Gov. Brown as "Moonbeam" are stuck in the 70s
They are the same people who refer to lefties as "loons". Dumb.
Glad that Brown interceded in the BART strike. I am all for decent
wages and benefits for hard workers, but this union has it better
than most. They deserve increased safety measures, but they
already make more than other transit workers in California. Time
to settle. I am not sympathetic with this union.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 5, 2013 at 6:50 pm

The safety "issues" are just another ploy by the union to hold us all hostage. In fact, BART has safety meetings weekly with their members at which time ALL safety concerns can be raised by employees and addressed. To have the union now say there are safety concerns is only another dishonest attempt to take the emphasis off their unrealistic money demands. However, BART does need to replace the most antiquated major transit rolling stock and has precious little money to do so. In contrast to private enterprise that would save money for capital improvements, BART needs to do all it can to pay cash out of pocket because there's no routine reserve for capital equipment replacement reserve. This due in part to the cost of existing financial obligations due to wages and benefits which are totally out of line with any other transit system in California.


Posted by Claude-Bob (T.E.A.) Percival, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2013 at 7:33 am

Dave,

You sound like a very wise person who has given this matter a great deal of thought. I'm serious. Really.

After we abolish unions, what kind of socio-political order would we have, in your wise estimation? Please kindly spell out what your alternative political universe might look like. Would it, for example, be more democratic? Or are you, as you sound, against democracy as nothing more than a breeding ground for liberal loonyism?
Please edify us with your astute, perspicuous commentary.

Claude-Bob


Posted by mm, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 6, 2013 at 8:16 am

After we abolish the unions we will have people who get paid according to merit, not longevity. The unions were needed in the 1940's but now we have so many government agencies dealing with worker safety and laws on the books to protect employees. Unions are out of date.

As per Dave, our equipment is way out of date in BART and needs replacing. We should have been saving money for replacement but instead the unions feel entitled to the money, so none of it goes into capital improvement. That is a crime. Safety concerns are just a way for the union to take the focus off of their real goal; more money.


Posted by Claude-Bob, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2013 at 8:21 am

Your inaccurate cliché about unions and merit doesn't quite answer my question, mm. Better hand things over to the erudite Dave who will give us the full explanation we asked for.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 6, 2013 at 9:11 am

Claude-Bob
Advocating some form of sensibility among union members is not the same as advocating the abolishment of unions. Putting in place a law that makes strikes by transit workers illegal would bring to an end the ability to hold the public hostage to the whims of a specific union that is out of control. 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. This certainly does not suggest that unions should arbitrarily be abolished, but rather brings some common sense into the mix, something sorely missing with the BART unions. In your posting I did not see anything that addressed my comments about the age of BART's equipment and their inability to reserve due to the union's demands for monetary gains that currently outstrip any other transit authority in the state of California. Also did not see any commentary from you regarding the fact that union members have the ability, i.e. responsibility, to surface safety issues in their weekly safety meetings. At this point perhaps you could "edify us with your astute perspicuous" comments on why you feel the BART union is justified on all their demands.


Posted by Claude-Bob, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2013 at 11:47 am

... Refuse all remaining unions the right to strike; by so doing, strip them of any leverage they might have as workers against capital and corporate control; by so doing, eliminate their effective voice from our political system. Hand all political voice over to corporations while, simultaneously, strip all progressive regulatory agencies of their oversight powers (see, for example, Republican models for so doing). Admit that the cozy relation between big business and government, sans unions, is, in fact, an embrace of fascism.

Thanks, Dave. You've got a really well thought out idea here. Keep up the good work! I'll continue to spell out the logic of your positions ... (Comments partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff for containing unverified or personal information.)


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Unions members have a voice at the voting booth; there is no loss in the political system. As stated on the other topic, the majority of the working population does not belong to a union, yet we are still a democracy. Yell as you might, the sky is not falling Mr. Little.


Posted by Claude-Bob, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2013 at 12:47 pm

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff for containing unverified or personal information.)


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 6, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

The most powerful tool any person has in politics is exercised at the voting booth. I don't believe any of the ads from either side and the slick advertising and flyers in my mailbox hit the recycle bin without being read. There are plenty of ways to get factual information about candidates. And to save you typing time. no, not faux news.


Posted by Claude-Bob, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2013 at 6:33 pm

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff for containing unverified or personal information.)


Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 6, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Claude-Bob,

Always interesting how one can continue to utter such drivel without explaining what justification there is for a public transit union to attempt to hold an entire area hostage to demands that far exceed any other transit system in the state. Juvenile remarks such as yours add no value to any conversation. Take the time to read links that have been posted by numerous others, and then try (again) to support your position with a well reasoned response rather than your typical drivel. Skip the comments directed at individuals and stay with known facts.


Posted by Claude-Bob, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2013 at 6:17 am



Sorry I had to put Kath Reugsegger in her place, Dave, but the superficial, hackneyed ideas she works with are too much for any reasonable person to stomach.

Keep voting, Dave. And just ignore all those corporate lobbyists who hang out in your representative's office. Because, as Kath says, your individual vote expresses as much power as does any high-priced lobbyist. She knows, because Abe Lincoln told her that.

A union without the right to strike is no union at all; for unions do not have the unlimited cash that corporations have, and so cannot compete on the cash-for-politician-in-your-pocket front. Instead, they use their bodies.

Without unions, a critical plank in our pluralist democracy goes by the wayside. Any upholder of democracy realizes how a democracy without unions becomes nothing more than a corporate democracy. Fascists like yourself and Kath desire this. As Kath states, your individual vote is at least as powerful as any corporate lobbying effort. And what would we be left with on her view? The citizens vote (increasingly less so if the fascist crowd gets its way), while corporations control.

You and Kath make up a good team, Dave. Keep up the great work, both of you!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 7, 2013 at 7:56 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

"A union without the right to strike is no union at all. . ." Patently false; those unions already exist. Unions also have plenty of money for lobbying. Web Link

It would appear I was wrong. Dave and I and most voters have little hope of being heard over the roar of unions and other lobbying efforts. But, I'm going to vote just the same.


Posted by Claude-Bob, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2013 at 8:29 am

Yeah, let's just post another link and send it into the wind. Then Kath doesn't have to actually think through any idea of argument.

Yes, unions lobby. Good point Kathleen! Wow! But, of course, that is my point. Without unions, corporations win the day. Historically, unions have been counterbalance to corporations. What about Kath and Dave? They have no problem with uncontested corporate lobbying; for such is the stuff of fascism that they support (while not having the guts to admit their foolishness). No, they're worried about the 'roar' of unions. (Time out for laughter.)

Fact is, the political landscape is sculpted in the course of struggle between unions and corporations, unions and state administrative power. What Kath and Dave don't seem to realize is that WHAT they vote for as individuals is all too often that which emanates from the struggle. They seem to think the American system consists only of individuals -- oh, and corporations, but they're okay!

Unionized workers who do not have the right to strike are rendered toothless ... and ultimately voiceless as well. Historically, the right of workers to strike, to grieve under auspices of union protection, have been the only things standing between democracy and state-corporate fascism.

But Kath and Dave want to reduce the ... "roar" ... of unions because, well, I think we know why.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 7, 2013 at 9:09 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Really, do tell me why. Remember, you can't use the lie you consistently perpetuate as the explanation.

I already said I don't care if unions exist. What I do care about is their insistence their demands are reasonable, defiant tactics, strikes that prevent their own from earning a day's wages, ignorance of long term impacts to budgets, inability to use interest based bargaining, lack of comprehension of the burden on all taxpayers, the lack of opt out choices for those seeking work without belonging to the union, and, in this case, their riders. Additionally, there is an inexplicable assertion that wages for the work produced should continue to rise beyond the cost of living and have no correlation to the limits of what is required of the worker to perform the duties. There are also little sticklers like overtime isn't really income, free rides aren't income, the share of employee health care costs should not be subject to the same cost of living increases as wages, and pensions are income diversion but we want more income and not to contribute to said pensions.

Your sheep's clothing just fell off.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 7, 2013 at 9:17 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I'm sorry, I failed to add that BART union members have a built in COLA and their wages increase every year in the job (for at least the first five years, and assuming there is not a promotion to higher paying positions such as from "name that job" to foreperson).

I don't know why all these members don't just walk off the job immediately and into positions with better salaries and benefits.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 7, 2013 at 11:31 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Web Link

"BART's total four-year proposal would cost the agency another $18.5 million. It includes 9 percent wage hikes and a 5 percent increase in employee pension contributions for current workers, while new employees would pay a slightly higher share.

"The rail line's two largest unions countered with a three-year deal totaling 21 percent pay bumps, including an 11.5 percent hike in the first year. Under the union's offer, any new pension contributions would be balanced out by corresponding wage increases, which would give employees a higher total pension once they retire. Their total contract, if extrapolated over four years for comparison purposes to BART's offer, would cost the rail line $117.8 million."

Reasonable?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 7, 2013 at 11:32 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I'm going to hope the Governor doesn't give a 60 day cooling off period. How about 60 days to train replacements?


Posted by Claude-Bob, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2013 at 11:47 am

Double posting by Kath. Doesn't have her own words within a coherent view of the world; resorts to repetitive posting of articles from corporate media.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 7, 2013 at 11:54 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Yup.

"BART, after the unions last week threatened to strike again, conceded its demand for employees to double the percentage of their current medical benefit contributions, to 10 percent. Instead, only employees with three or more dependents would pay more. Unions countered with a 5 percent annual increase to their medical premiums."

$4.60 a month.


Posted by Claude-Bob, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Note Kath's uncritical use of the stats bandied about by the corporate-owned media. Truth is, the 'facts' (numbers) presented in the rag Kath cites have been presented by an accounting firm hired by BART management. Union's own accountants offer a different view. For example, Kath's newspaper citation uncritically uses BART management's claims about $100 million separating management from workers; the union's accountants, in contrast, claim $30 million separates the two parties.

That's why linksters like Kath who hold closeted fascist views shouldn't be trusted.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 7, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I see the liberal press is now corporate-owned media because they aren't backing the unions?

The figures that mattered to me were BART's 9% over four years and the union's 11.5% the first year with an additional 9.5% for the next three years. Stark and unrealistic difference. Oh, that and "which would give employees a higher total pension once they retire."


Posted by Nomad, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2013 at 9:04 pm

How is that Claude-Bob here and Mike Cherry elsewhere tag anyone who is not in complete agreement with BART union demands "fascist"?
Do unions believe that they, in addition to creating the ''middle class", are also the protectors of American democracy?
Given the compensation, benefits, pay structures, pensions, government protections, lobbying power and more, I think we need to call them the "11%ers".
Thoughts?


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