What they say about the impending BART strike

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger:

“Delaying negotiations any longer is not the answer. The majority of employees have already reached an agreement and there is no reason why Amalgated Transit Union and BART cannot resolve their issues without punishing the public. I strongly encourage both sides to sit down, negotiate in good faith and resolve their differences as quickly as possible. State mediators are ready and available to help both sides reach an agreement over the weekend.”

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland:

“Constituents in my district and commuters throughout the Bay Area rely on BART and its workers to provide them with safe, efficient and reliable transit service. I encourage both BART and the ATU to resume their negotiations as soon as possible in order to work out their differences and reach a settlement that works for all parties.”

Lt. Gov. (and CD10 candidate) John Garamendi:

“Californians, especially commuters in the Bay Area, have been watching BART labor negotiations with increasing concern, especially in these last 24 hours as BART management has imposed terms and conditions on members of ATU Local 1555 and union members have responded with a strike to start late Sunday night. Tonight I am calling on both sides to put the public first. I call on BART management to lift the imposed contract, and I call on ATU Local 1555 to suspend its call for a strike Sunday night. After four months of negotiations, the people of California need both sides to return to the table and act in the best interests of the state. During these challenging economic times, public transportation is a critical. All of us need to focus our attention on securing a settlement that protects our economy.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.


  1. Clearly, this strike is economy related, and the down economy was caused by our Federal and State Electeds, whether they smile, and dye their hair, or not.
    Buses will honor the picket lines, and stop outside the
    battery limits of the BART Stations. See 511.org
    511contracosta.org or cccta.org in the East Bay for details. Newspapers and TV stations have web sites to keep you informed of the latest news. Twitter & Facebook can be used as well to arrange car pools. BART will have charter buses from WC to W OAK & SF.

  2. Mr. Garamendi, the two sides at BART shouldn’t “act in the best interests of the state” they all should act in the best interests of their customers, you know, “we the people” who own the system (or at least the commuters).

  3. Two candidates in the special election for Congress on September 1, Sen. DeSaulnier and Assemblywoman Buchanan, deserve part of the blame for the BART strike. They were among the 15 state legislators who butted into negotiations by signing that letter in late June. See: http://www.contracostatimes.com/search/ci_12741966?IADID
    The Times editorial board wrote, “The letter clearly takes the side of the unions by warning BART directors about the potential of a labor dispute, possible disruption of BART service and concerns about undue economic hardship for BART workers … We also urge legislators not to meddle in BART negotiations as they did eight years ago, when union workers received a 23 percent pay increase over four years, and focus on their work in Sacramento.” It was the ATU union, the one that caused the current strike, that shared Buchanan’s and DeSaulnier’s letter with the media. DeSaulnier and Buchanan emboldened ATU to take this action that will paralyze the Bay Area. They placed the self-interest of the greedy BART union bosses above the general interest of millions of Bay Area residents. If you can’t get to work on-time next week because you’re either BART-dependent or trapped in a colossal traffic jam, thank DeSaulnier and Buchanan. What do Buchanan and DeSaulnier think of their handiwork now? The Times needs to get them “on the record” immediately.

  4. Re: Post #3

    Oh, my!

    I wouldn’t slam an outhouse door that hard.

    But that’s typical of Marky Mark. When a public employee union says “Jump!” Marky Mark says “How high? Would you like a back flip with that?”

  5. Larry, that was a great reminder of why DeSaulnier and Buchanan shouldn’t even be in the State Legislature.

    Since hey can’t restrain State spending they shouldn’t have been meddling in BART negotiations. It just goes to show you who they represent – PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS and not their constituents.

  6. BART…Bay Area Rapid Transit…John Garamendo lives in Sacramento County, not in the Bay Area, so why does his opinion matter? I bet you dollars to donuts he has never been on a BART train in his life.

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