More calls for Legislature to nix BART strike

With little or no progress apparent at the bargaining table, calls are growing louder for the Legislature to throw an obstacle on tracks as BART rolls toward another strike as early as Oct. 11.

Steve Glazer16th Assembly District candidate Steve Glazer, a Democrat who also is an Orinda councilman and a political adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown, will be at the Orinda BART station Thursday morning to hand out fliers to commuters and meet the press regarding his online petition drive urging the Legislature to ban BART strikes.

“A BART strike will cripple our economy, hurt workers getting to their jobs, limit access to schools and health care, and damage our environment,” his petition says. “The impact of a BART strike will be felt across the state. It should not be in the hands of a regional BART board. We need a statewide law.”

Glazer is running to succeed Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, who’ll be term-limited out of office next year. Also seeking that seat are Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich and Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti – both Democrats – and attorney Catharine Baker, a Republican from Dublin.

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers sent a letter to Brown on Wednesday urging him to call an emergency legislative session in order to act on SB 423, which would compel BART unions to honor the no-strike clause in their expired contracts. Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, R-Brea, introduced the legislation by gutting and amending another bill on the last day of the regular legislative session, and started touting it a few days later.

“The hundreds of thousands of Bay Area residents who rely upon BART to get to work or school each day deserve peace of mind that they can get to where they need to go without the threat of a strike,” Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway, R-Visalia, said in a news release Wednesday. “We call upon the governor to take swift action to ensure that this labor dispute does not create a transportation nightmare.”

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.

  • JohnW

    Strike or no strike, BART has already given away the store. Just a question of how much more.

  • Willis James

    Agree that BART has given in with too many ups on their offers.
    Now the union will try to make themselves look good by saying they want to split the difference when they haven’t been making any reasonable proposals prior to now.
    BART should go to the public and admit they gave too much already.
    If the world was fair, BART’s last offer would be the maximum.
    The extortion that is a strike in this situation is almost like the Bay Bridge workers going on strike. Citizens would be outraged at that, yet that is essentially what the BART unions do when they strike.
    Write your BART board member and tell them to hold firm.
    Takes 2 minutes to do so.
    Most BART workers are already getting paid far more than their skills and education would ever get anywhere else.
    They don’t deserve the theme that suggests its them against the 1% and that to object to their over-reach is to abandon the working man.

  • Publius

    The Bart strike is a window into the soul of the Union owned Democratic Party. When the public is not watching, the California Democrat will always advocate and push the organized labor agenda at the tax payers expense. Due to media attention and public scrutiny this strike has forced the Democrats to talk tough. As soon as the spot light is removed they will go right back to giving away the farm to organized labor. This strike is a good example of why public employees should not be allowed to form unions.

    “The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.”
    Progressive icon FDR, 1937

  • Jim Reilley

    Pass the law after this dispute is over. It’s a bad precedent to do it during negotiations. This should have been done years ago while a valid contract was still in effect.