It’s Time to Play Hardball! No Concessions!
September 25, 2013
BART management is playing hardball and so can we. They’re demanding cuts to our real wages without adjusting for cost of living. They won’t agree to basic safety demands such as tunnel lighting, endangering BART riders and workers. They want us to pay more for health benefits and to pay in for pensions even though we are not covered by Social Security. BART received $100 million in concessions from us four years ago. Currently they have a $125 million / year operating surplus, yet they demand concessions.
Why are BART Union officials and negotiators offering up concessions? Our bargaining teams just offered management a deal that would reduce our wage demands by 2.5% per year; to increase our payments for health benefits by 15%; and to offer a “swap” on pensions that encourages management to reduce or even dispose of the pension plan.
No More Concessions! In 2011 thousands of public workers converged on the State Capitol, in Madison, Wisconsin, to fight Governor Scott Walker’s union-busting proposals. It was a historic moment in Labor history. But the Union officials along with the Democratic Party sold the workers out. The Unions negotiators offered concessions to Walker and each time a concession was made Walker wanted more. That is what BART’s management is doing to us. It is time to say, No Concessions. No More Wisconsins!
STOP CONCESSIONARY BARGINNING!
1. Attend ATU LOCAL 1555’s Special Meeting Sept. 30. The meeting will be held at the Trans Pacific Center, 1000 Broadway (at 10th St.) Oakland.
2. We demand full transparency. Demand a complete report after every bargaining session.
3. We demand accountability; our negotiators must make no further concessions.
4. We demand an emergency membership meeting in order for the membership to vote down all previous concessionary offers.
5. We must rally all working people and the community to prepare to beat back the attack on all workers starting with the BART workers.
No more austerity cuts!
There are tens of thousands of union workers whose contracts have expired. If we lose, they’re going down with us. Our communities will also suffer with increased fares and unsafe riding conditions. We stand with them in their struggle for livable wages, affordable health benefits, and a retirement with dignity. A campaign to cut fares by assessing the big developers and corporations, whose property values increase sharply when BART expands, can make it happen.
6. We need to prepare now for an all-out strike on October 10th, starting with an appeal to AC Transit workers (ATU 192) to support our struggle with a solidarity strike. AC Transit workers recently voted down a concessionary deal and are working without a contract. We need to also to appeal to all other Bay Area transit workers to honor our picket lines. A powerful strike honored by transit workers and supported by labor and with community support will blow management’s demands for concessions off the table and out the door. It will strike a blow for all working people; employed, unemployed, and underemployed.
7. We need to reach out to the 54,000 SEIU 1021 and AFSCME members along with other ATU Locals in Northern California to insure our struggle is not isolated
8. BART management has threatened to use strikebreakers, who they are now training. The union movement must be mobilized to stop strikebreaking in labor’s stronghold, the Bay Area. We need to let union busters know that,California is not Wisconsin!
We have the power to turn the tide. We must use it to win!
submitted to the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee on 9/25/13 by Charles Smith AFSCME local 444 retired & delegate to the Alameda Labor Council