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Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officials announced late last night that service would be suspended today because its two largest unions went on strike as of midnight. Leaders of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union 1555, which represent 2,300 BART workers, announced late last night that the strike would be launched since the unions and BART management could not reach an agreement on a new contract. The previous contract expired at midnight."A strike is always the last resort and we have done everything in our power to avoid it," said Josie Mooney, SEIU Local 1021 spokeswoman, in a prepared statement.Negotiations still have a long way to go, but the parties "can't get any closer if we aren't at the table," said BART spokesman Rick Rice in a statement."We reached tentative agreements on 11 items today and we should use that momentum to reach a deal," he said. Walking away doesn't do any good."BART is prepared to return to the bargaining table "and get this finished," Rich added.Meanwhile, the agency posted alternative commuting options at a special website, alert.511.org, and on a special Twitter account, @511SFBay.
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