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How Do You Feel About a BART Strike? (Some of) the People Speak

| October 10, 2013
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What do Bay Area residents think about the possibility of another BART strike? New survey results say that there’s widespread opposition to a walkout, which could happen after midnight tonight. And a majority of poll respondents say they’d like to see state law changed to ban strikes. Closer to home, we sent our newsroom interns into KQED’s neighborhood at the border of the Mission District and Potrero Hill to see what those who live and work here have to say.

Charles Sabia, (Leslie David/KQED)

Charles Sabia, (Leslie David/KQED)

Charles Sabia, 49, from the Mission District, takes BART regularly.
How will the strike affect him, and should workers be able to strike?
“The strike didn’t affect me much. It’s not a big problem if the strike happens. I just won’t go as many places. Workers have the right to strike but they need a mediator. They need a paid public mediator to move things forward.”

Bianca Walian, left. (Christine Hsu/KQED)

Bianca Walian, at left. (Christine Hsu/KQED)

Bianca Walian, 19, a model from Daly City, takes BART regularly.
What will she do if there’s another strike?
“Besides cry? I guess you drive more. I can’t do random visits home, it’s half a tank of gas and tolls.”

Kent Sergent. (Leslie David/KQED)

Kent Sergent. (Leslie David/KQED)

Kent Sergent says he relies mostly on his bicycle for transportation.
How might a strike affect him?
“The last strike didn’t really affect me, but the time they were on strike before that, I had to ride my bike all the way from Walnut Creek to Berkeley, just to go out on a Friday night.”

 Girard Robinson. (Erika Maldonado/KQED)

Girard Robinson. (Erika Maldonado/KQED)

Girard Robinson, 40, a security guard from San Francisco.
How will the strike affect him, and should workers get to go on strike?
“I don’t use BART too often. I usually just drive so the strikes haven’t affected me. … They (BART workers) do deserve to strike. Fair raises? They need and deserve them just like everybody else.”
Oscar Oorras, 59, from Hercules, storeroom supervisor for Muni maintenance who rides BART regularly (not pictured).
How would the strike affect him, and should workers keep the right to strike?
“The strike affected me. I had to start early or late but they’re [Muni] flexible about us changing our hours. … Workers should be able to strike but it’s not fair to riders. There should be other options and ways to solve it.”

What do you think about the possible strike? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Category: Transportation

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  • Dagnyt Taggart

    FDR said no govt employees should be allowed to strike, as they aren’t negotiating on the same even ground as in the private sector. 1. They aren’t negotiating with their REAL employers (the taxpayers) and 2. Governments can keep giving out money even if they don’t have it. Companies can’t – they go out of business. Stop all striking and in fact, let’s privatize BART and make it profitable, affordable and better

    • f simanjuntak

      +1 privatize bart…. and get rid of those union scumbags.

  • AngryStiker

    Union have no any rights to paralyze any public transportation.
    People who works for BART got very well payed job, but it seems that is never enough.
    If someone not happy with their job, just quit it!

  • Jannie

    This may be my first time ever disagreeing with the workers. Sorry. There’s no recovery here. I don’t know what circles you are running in. I think we’re all in the same boat and some much worse off than others. I’ve been self-employed for 30+ years and been paying into the SSA and Medicare — my benefits. I can only hope I get something back, someday. Medicare is supposed to run out when I’m 65. How’s that for benefits?? You’re whiners. Make a deal and keep the trains running. How can employees and management of one company become so polarized and mistrustful and hateful? Figure it out. You are making the workday hours and hours and hours longer for some people. We’re working hard enough. Grow up and have some consideration.

  • DB

    Transit workers’ unions carry a disproportionate amount of power. No other sector can strike and cause such a huge economic burden to an area. Time to pass a law that prohibits transit workers from striking in CA. An average BART worker makes more than $30/hour in a job requiring little training or education. Not to mention the benefits are outlandish – free pension and ~$90/month healthcare. Get real BART workers, you have it good and now you’re using your power over the economy to extort money at the expense of Bay Area residents.

  • Woods Lee

    I hope that some politician can stand out to propose a ban for strike of vital public workers. Do not allow these greedy unions kidnap taxpayer using tax-built public service!

  • Carbon

    So why did they profile a bunch of people that do not use BART regularly? My 1.5hr commute each way turns to a 2+hr commute when they strike. Many days the service sucks and trains seems to regularly run late or break down. Inside the trains it feels like an old uncleaned bathroom. Most days I am squished in and have to stand for 45 minutes because they don’t have enough trains or service. They should truly be ashamed of their crappy service and retirement packages they give the higher ups. Bad BART, bad!

  • Val

    Bart
    strikes are terrorizing bay area, this must be stopped.

  • Nikki

    I’m a student at CSU East Bay and I take BART to class and back home Monday-Thursday. If they actually strike, and strike into next week I will have to take an expensive cab or 3 buses to get to and from the college. I get that the BART workers want more pay and better benefits–but the majority of people haven’t gotten raises in about 4 or more years. The workers make as much as a tenured teacher in the Bay Area, for much less effort and work. This whole situation just isn’t right.

  • donewithbart

    The GOV should fire, terminate everyone at Bart. Management included. Get rid of the over payment of salaries. Hire new non union salary regulated employees. Let the terminated people go find jobs for that kind of money and bennies with the education they have. What a joke. The public should do whatever they can to avoid using bart till that happens. All these unions are doing is holding up the government. They might as well have masks on and point guns at us. Truly this is a hold up people. Im not riding anymore. Stick it BART. California GOV has no balls.

  • Baby

    As a SF resident, if union decided to strike, why can we also select not to take Bart for months until end of this year, that’s our strike back for them, even they got a good deal with their salary, but without us to ride bart, no income, they still nothing, they are not boss, and control strike that easy, they are the public transport, people love & trust them we need to work too.

  • Samantha

    In this economic climate, BART employees should be happy they even have a job & benefits!