Republican legislative leaders have introduced legislation that would block BART workers from striking if their most recent contracts have no-strike clauses – just as their expiring contracts do now.
“You have a signed agreement where you said you wouldn’t go on strike, and now you’re doing it anyway,” says Assembly GOP leader Connie Conway.
Meanwhile, a top political advisor to Governor Jerry Brown who’s running for the Assembly next year as a Democrat is calling for a ban on all public transit strikes.
Such strikes are already prohibited in New York City, Chicago and Washington, DC. Workers at San Francisco’s bus system, MUNI, are also not allowed to walk off the job.
The California Labor Federation opposes those proposals. It says strikes are always a last resort, but they’re often the only way workers can force management to negotiate in good faith.
Earlier story: (AP) Commuters in the San Francisco Bay Area appear to be getting an earlier start than usual with the region's major commuter train line shut down because of a worker strike.
People were lined up well before 5 a.m. Friday at a Bay Area Rapid Transit train station in Walnut Creek for one of the charter buses BART was running into San Francisco. Traffic at the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge toll plaza into San Francisco also appeared heavier than normal for the early morning.
Workers from two BART unions walked off the job at midnight Thursday after talks during a marathon negotiating session broke down.
About 400,000 riders take BART every weekday on the nation's fifth-largest commuter rail system. The system carries passengers from the farthest reaches of the densely populated eastern suburbs to San Francisco International Airport across the bay.