Contract Battle Sets Up Possible ‘Occupy’ Shutdown Attempt On Golden Gate Bridge

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – A difficult contract negotiation sets up the potential for the full shutdown and occupation of the Golden Gate Bridge next week.

Bridge managers are currently at the bargaining table with 25 different unions whose members have been without contracts since June.

Now, the unions are calling for a mass rally and action next Tuesday, the same day as the mass actions being called by local Occupy movement organizers.

Bridge officials are bracing for a noisy picket line, and the potential for a complete bridge shutdown, similar to what was carried out at the Port of Oakland last year.

“They did reach out to Occupy Oakland and last week, and the General Assembly passed a resolution that said they would help to shut down North Bay transportation if our workers decided to strike,” said Golden Gate Transit spokeswoman Mary Currie.

Union representatives who spoke to CBS Wednesday confirmed the talks with Occupy organizers, but said that no decision had yet been made to strike – yet. However, a press release indicated that the union would “be reaching out directly to commuters this week to notify them of possible disruptions to their commute and to ask for their support.”

Currie said the bridge would not shut down in the event of an toll taker walk-off.

“We’d keep the plaza open,” said Currie. “Obviously relying on our friends at the California Highway Patrol and others to keep the roadway safe and operating.’

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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