AC Transit Workers Set Wednesday Strike Date

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) -East Bay commuters thought they dodged a bullet when a possible BART strike was temporarily averted Sunday night, but just when you thought it was safe, AC Transit workers announced plans to walk off the job on Wednesday.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192, which represents 1,800 bus operators, mechanics, dispatchers and clerical workers, plans to go on strike at 12:01 a.m. unless serious progress is made at the bargaining table.

Union spokeswoman Margaret Hanlon-Gradie said the union and AC Transit are at odds over the hiring of part-time workers and health and safety issues.

“One of the things we want foremost is for operators to have decent meal and rest periods,” said ATU President Yvonne Williams.

In addition the union is looking for a boost in pay as well as having some safety issues addressed.

“We are very close in coming to some kind of resolution to our labor contract. We’re about a little more than one percent apart on wages,” said AC Transit Spokesman Clarence Johnson.

ATU’s contract ran out on June 30th (the same day BART’s labor contract did). Bus operators had threatened to walk off the job then, but pulled back at the last minute when it became clear that trains would not run.

Williams said they still would have authorized this strike authorization notice even if BART had gone on strike again.

AC Transit carries about 175,000 passengers every weekday, mostly in the East Bay. It was vital during last month’s BART strike.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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