BART strike renews calls to ban public transit walkouts

Oct 22, 2013

BART Strike Hampers Bay Area Monday Morning Commute

A closure sign is posted on a pay gate at the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Embarcadero station on October 21, 2013 in San Francisco, California. An estimated 400,000 commuters ride BART each day. ; Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Trains in San Francisco were once again in service after Bay Area Rapid Transit and union leaders reached a tentative deal on Monday to end the four-day strike. The work stoppage put some 400,000 BART riders in a jam, diverting commuters to already crowded roads and other transport alternatives. The BART Board of Directors and members of the agency’s two large unions still need to approve the tentative contract agreement.

This is the second time BART workers had walked out of their jobs this year. In July, union workers went on strike for 4½ days. The two strikes have angered commuters, businesses and lawmakers, adding fuel to calls for the state to ban public transit workers from striking. California currently forbids strikes by police and firefighters from going on strike. States like New York and Oregon prohibits their public transit workers from striking.

Should California do the same? Should public transit workers be banned from striking, like police and firefighters? Is public transit an essential service?

Steve Glazer, Councilman, City of Orinda; Democratic Assembly candidate and organizer of the online petition effort,

John Logan, Professor and director of labor and employment studies at San Francisco State University



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