Train operators' union to vote today on new BART contract

Union chief 'confident' members will accept latest offer

Members of BART's second-largest labor union will vote today on a tentative agreement with management that narrowly averted a strike that had been planned for Aug. 17.

Jesse Hunt, the president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, which represents about 900 train operators, station agents and power workers, said members will vote at four different meetings at a union hall at 8460 Enterprise Way in Oakland, near Hegenberger Road.

The meetings will begin at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Voting will end at 10 p.m. and it's expected that the results will be announced about 10:30 p.m., Hunt said.

Members of ATU Local 1555 voted by a two-to-one margin on Aug. 10 to reject a previous tentative agreement with management that had been reached on July 31.

But Hunt has said that's he's "confident" his members will approve the new tentative agreement, which was reached the night of Aug. 16, and end the threat of a strike by BART employees.

Members of BART's other two big labor unions, Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represents about 1,500 mechanics, custodians, safety inspectors and clerical employees, and American Federation of Local, State and Municipal Employees Union Local 3993, which represents about 200 middle managers, voted two weeks ago to approve the initial tentative agreement.

However, the leaders of those two unions said their members would have honored picket lines if ATU Local 1555 had gone on strike.

Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News, Jeb Bing

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