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8/26/2009



Rail News: Passenger Rail

ATU members ratify BART contract


Today, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) announced its members ratified a four-year agreement with Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).

The union, which represents about 900 BART train operators and station agents, had rejected a previous tentative agreement and planned to launch a strike Aug. 16 after BART’s board voted days earlier to impose employment terms on the workers. However, BART and the ATU reached an 11th hour agreement and averted a strike.

BART is trying to overcome an estimated $310 million four-year budget deficit amid declining ridership, state transit funding and sales tax revenue. The agency’s board had set a target of $100 million in labor-cost savings over the next four years and sought union agreements in line with that goal.

During the past few months, the agency negotiated pacts with the Service Employees International Union and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, whose members recently ratified the contracts. BART now has ratified agreements in place with its three largest labor unions.


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