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California judge OKs 'cooling off' period in BART labor dispute

A San Francisco Superior Court judge yesterday granted California Gov. Jerry Brown's request for a 60-day cooling off period in the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) contract dispute with its two largest labor unions.

The judge agreed with Brown's argument that a BART strike, which was set to take effect at 12:01 this morning, would cause "significant harm to the public's health, safety and welfare."

Brown made the request after receiving a report issued by an investigatory board on contract negotiations between BART and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 and Service Employees International Union Local 1021, according to a press release issued by Brown's office.

The unions represent about 2,300 BART workers, who went on strike for five days in early July until the unions and BART agreed to a 30-day extension of the previous contract, which expired June 30. The two sides have been unable to reach an agreement on a new contract, and the unions indicated they would pursue a second strike.

Under the cooling off period, BART and the unions now have until Oct. 10 to resolve their differences over wages and employee contributions to health care benefits and pensions.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/12/2013