Despite a national recession and millions of Americans unemployed, the ATU was demanding a three percent pay increase to add to their average $114,466 total compensation package. Meanwhile, BART's management is seeking to trim $100 million in labor costs over the next four years to help balance a $310 million deficit.
“We have no choice but to initiate the work action,” Jesse Hunt, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, told KCBS 740 AM radio.
Hunt said BART management imposed a 7 percent pay cut and other demands that were not acceptable to his membership, which includes station agents and train operators.
Although two other BART unions, the SEIU and AFSCME, both ratified contracts with BART management earlier this week, union leaders stated that their members would honor ATU's picket lines.