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Just hours before a planned strike was scheduled to take place, San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) reached a deal with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 (ATU) putting Northern California's Monday morning commute back on track. Both sides made concessions including salary lock-ins in exchange for caps on healthcare and cessation of BART's contribution to secondary pension plans, and a reduction in paid holidays.
ATU, a 900-person union, rejected a contract proposal last week and was ready for its members to disembark and step away from their positions as train operators and station agents with the mass transit system. General Manager Dorothy Dugger projects that BART will be able to reduce labor costs by $100 million, and meet its financial goals if the tentative agreement is approved.
Unions are formed for employees to organize and protect their rights in the workplace. Collective bargaining is a key feature of how unions operate to benefit their member-workers. Collective bargaining and union operations are governed by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
In the case of BART, two other unions successfully ratified their contracts earlier last week, leaving ATU as the final to negotiate with the mass transit agency.
The vote to ratify the four-year proposed contract between BART and ATU is set for August 25th.