OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Labor talks between AC Transit and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192 continued after the existing contract expired Sunday night, with both sides indicating that buses would operate as usual on Monday.

Word that the buses would keep running no doubt came as a sigh of relief to the 174,000 daily bus riders who would have been stranded throughout the East Bay with no way to get to the Peninsula and San Francisco. Also significant was the fact that AC Transit had avoided a walkout, at least temporarily, at the same time that Bay Area Rapid Transit workers went on strike.

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“We are gratified that the talks are continuing and our operators and mechanics are showing up for work,’” said AC Transit Board President Greg Harper in a statement sent to CBS San Francisco. “We have great concern and respect for our ridership and this action by the ATU shows that the union does, too.”

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The union promised in a posting on its Facebook page Sunday night that it would give riders a 24-hours advance notice before striking.

Earlier Sunday, AC Transit management had reported “some progress” in the contract negotiations which have been on-going for the past three months.

Aside from salaries, the union has cited worker safety – including plans to replace sheriff’s deputies assigned to AC Transit with private security guards – as its primary concerns in the negotiations.

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