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Friday, July 05, 2013    

BART to restart service today under 30-day contract extension


Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) rail service will resume at 3 p.m. today after the agency and its two largest labor unions agreed late last night to extend the current contract for 30 days, ending a strike.

BART service has been suspended since July 1, when the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union 1555 went on strike after the previous contract expired June 30. The unions represent about 2,300 BART workers. The two sides returned to the bargaining table late on July 2, after California Gov. Jerry Brown sent in state mediators to assist negotiations.

BART General Manager Grace Crunican thanked California Labor Secretary Marty Morgenstern and his mediation team for their help in crafting the 30-day extension that allows trains to run while bargaining continues.

"We look forward to continuing our work with Secretary Morgenstern and his mediators," Crunican said. "Unfortunately, the issues that brought us to this point remain unresolved. … We still have a wide gap of disagreements to bridge over the next 30 days."

The contract's sticking points have focused primarily on wages, employee health and pension benefits, and safety issues.

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