San Francisco, August 21, 2013 – With little progress made to date during the 60-day cooling off period ordered by Governor Jerry Brown for Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1555 and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021, a coalition of San Francisco business leaders is urging the Governor to convene a bargaining session with the BART board together with the international presidents of SEIU and ATU to negotiate a settlement that will ensure the Bay Area is spared of another harmful strike.
“The Bay Area business community is concerned that negotiations will continue to drag on to the last day and hour with no settlement in sight,” said Bob Linscheid, President & CEO, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. “Our region cannot afford another strike and we call on Governor Brown to help break through the log jam by bringing all parties together for a prompt resolution.”
The coalition previously called on BART and its unions to reach an agreement and avoid the strike, which crippled the Bay Area economy and impacted thousands of commuters and visitors in July. The group also applauded the Governor’s action ordering the 60-day cooling off period and continues to encourage a solution meeting both the needs of BART workers and the capital investments required by the system.
BART is the fifth largest rail system in the country, carrying more than 400,000 daily riders. July’s strike cost commuters and the regional economy more than $219 million in lost productivity, according to estimates from the Bay Area Council. The strike also took a toll on the environment, with traffic delays pouring an additional 16 million pounds of carbon dioxide into the air.
The coalition of business groups includes: the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, BOMA San Francisco, SF Made, Small Business California, San Francisco Council of District Merchants Association, Golden Gate Restaurant Association, Hotel Council of San Francisco, San Francisco Travel Association, Mission Merchants Association and the San Francisco Small Business Network.
Founded in 1850, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce is recognized as the pre-eminent business organization for advocacy, networking and economic growth. The Chamber delivers on its mission to attract, develop and retain business in San Francisco by representing companies and organizations that make San Francisco a preferred destination for businesses and visitors – a great place to live and work. More information is available at www.sfchamber.com.