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BART, Unions Back At Bargaining Table; Gov. Brown To Seek 2-Month Cooling Off Period

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — The Bay Area Rapid Transit Agency and two of its largest unions have returned to the bargaining table, as a cooling-off period that would avert a possible train strike on Monday looms.

BART and a union official said the two sides had gathered again on Saturday morning. BART spokesman Rick Rice said he could not comment on the status of the negotiations.

Service Employees International Union Local 1021 spokeswoman Josie Mooney said around 11:45 a.m. the two sides were huddled up in separate rooms. Mooney said the unions were waiting to hear back from BART on a new proposal they put forward on Friday. She said she could not disclose its details.

California Governor Jerry Brown said Friday that he planned to seek a court order for a 2-month cooling off period on Sunday if the contract dispute is not resolved by then.

RELATED CONTENT: Download The Governor’s Board Of Inquiry Report (.pdf)

His announcement came as union leaders warned commuters that they were ready to strike Monday morning for the second time this summer if they can’t reach a new contract agreement. The Bay Area commute was snarled by a 4 1/2-day strike in early July before both sides agreed to a temporary extension of the old contract.

“I urge all parties to think of the public and resolve this matter without delay, but if there’s no resolution by Sunday, I will seek a 60 day cooling-off period,” Brown told reporters.

RELATED CONTENT: Download The Governor’s Court Filing (.pdf)

If BART management and its unions fail to reach a deal over the weekend, San Francisco Superior Court will consider Brown’s injunction request at a 9 a.m. hearing Sunday at the Civic Center courthouse. If Judge Curtis E.A. Karnow agrees with the findings of the governor’s investigators, an order would be issued halting any BART strike for a period of two months.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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