OAKLAND (KCBS)— A Bay Area lawmaker has started a new effort to ban strikes by BART workers. The bill’s proposal is getting mixed reviews with some BART riders giving it a thumb’s up.
Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon) introduced her inaugural bill in the Assembly legislation to prevent the kind of strikes, which crippled Bay Area commuters in 2013. Her proposal would prevent BART workers from walking off their jobs if they’re still getting paid and their expired contract included a no-strike clause.
Baker said the two BART shutdowns of 2013 happened even though that expired contract had a no-strike provision.
“We just think it’s fair that BART workers not be allowed to cherry pick what of the expired contract that they’re going to abide by. If they’re getting paid by management after the contract is expired, the BART workers also need to hold up to their end of the bargain and not strike,” she said.
Some BART riders said they like the idea and said the unions can solve their problems without having to bring it down to the public level where it creates hardships on the people.
Others said it’s still the most reliable source of transportation in the Bay Area, but that it’s been increasingly more difficult with protests that have disturbed service.
Critics of the proposal said it’s not right to take away a necessary right for workers to get a fair contract.
The head of the local Amalgamated Transit Union said his focus is on improving labor relations and having a positive dialogue with BART management.