OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Less than two weeks before BART workers could resume their strike, union leaders alleged Monday that management’s chief negotiator has a long history of engaging in hardball tactics and accused him of engaging in unfair bargaining.
Roxanne Sanchez, the president of Service International Union Local 1021, which represents 1,430 mechanics, custodians and clerical workers, said Thomas Hock and his company, Professional Transit Management, have been named in 47 complaints with the National Labor Relations Board since 2001 and he’s been involved in negotiations that have resulted in seven transit strikes since 2005.
Speaking at a news conference outside the Caltrans building in Oakland, where contract talks have been taking place, Sanchez alleged that Hock has engaged in “surface bargaining,” which she said is a technique designed not to make progress and to create a public backlash against BART workers.
Sanchez also alleged that Hock is unavailable for 10 of the 14 days remaining before the contract for BART employees expires on Aug. 4 and called for BART General Manager Grace Crunican or another top executive to come to the bargaining table to try to reach an agreement.
However, Crunican said she still supports Hock because “he’s a great negotiator who has settled a lot of contracts.”
She said Hock has negotiated more than 400 labor contracts since 1972 and in that time only two unfair labor practice charges alleging bad faith bargaining have been filed against him.
Crunican said one of those complaints was withdrawn by the union that filed it and in the second case there was no finding of bad faith bargaining.