8.05.2013

Strike Two

If you are planning on visiting the Bay Area this week, don't. You have probably heard about the BART strike, but in case you haven't, here's the low down. About a month ago, the workers of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system went on strike because they thought they deserved higher pay.

The BART workers are unionized, and according to sources, are requesting a 23% pay increase. According to the same source, the average BART worker makes $83,157, up from $80,588 in 2010. Supposedly they also get pensions without contributing anything, and only pay around $90 a month for health insurance, regardless of family size.

A month ago, the strike lasted for four days. Luckily, it was the week of the 4th of July and so there were not as many people going to work that week. However, the average daily ridership of the BART is about 400,000 people.

They went back to work and were going to try to work things out in a month. Well, the month is up and they still have not worked things out. So today, they are going back on strike (as far as we know).

I do not use the BART. As you know, I take the casual carpool. So I should have no problem, right?

Wrong. Everyone and their mother who normally takes BART is going to have to get to work somehow. Unfortunately, there are bridges and you have to get over them. So there are going to be a lot more people driving. So there is going to be a traffic back up a lot earlier than normal.

The question is...when?

As you are reading this, I may be waiting in line for a carpool. I may be on a bus. I may be sitting on the Bay Bridge with a million other cars, at an ungodly hour of the morning. All I know is that it's not going to be easy, or fun. It's going to be a huge cluster.

I am not sure how or if they will come to an agreement. If they do raise the wages, likely it will mean a huge cost increase for riders. If they don't, well, I don't know what will happen. But I hope it doesn't take too long.

**Edited to add: Last night at the very last minute, the governor of California stepped in and a 7 day investigation is going to be done, so the BART is running today! However, if no resolution is made by Sunday, there is still a possibility of a strike next Monday.**

What do you think? Should they get a raise? Have you been following the story at all?

4 comments:

  1. I guess the question I would ask is whether $80K a year is a sufficient salary in San Francisco? The dollar goes a lot farther in Dallas than it does in New York (and San Francisco). $80K to me sounds like they're robbing the system blind before the requested 23% pay increase (because that's a mighty hefty salary for someone living in Chicago). But, maybe that's not true in the Bay area. Either way, a 23% increase is a lot, particularly when governmental systems are facing budget crises. It's times like these when I cringe that unions have such power in the process - I know they exist for largely good reasons, but they need to get a grip with reality. (And yes, that's a very anti-Democratic standpoint for this liberal leaning gal!)

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  2. Wowzers! Sure hope it all gets settled soon. Somehow!

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  3. I hope it gets resolved soon. I haven't heard about it, but I don't watch the news or read the newspaper. I should be more informed;)

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