San Francisco Subway Workers Go On Strike
400K forced to commute some other way
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jul 1, 2013 1:20 PM CDT
In this Tuesday, June 25, 2013 file photo, Jeanette Sanchez holds a sign supporting Bay Area Rapid Transit workers as she waits for a train at the 24th Street Mission station in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

(Newser) – Hundreds of thousands of habitual subway riders had to find other ways to work today, after San Francisco's negotiation with BART subway employees broke down around 2am. The city wants the more than 5,000 subway workers to pay more toward their pensions and benefits in exchange for an 8% pay hike, the San Jose Mercury News explains—right now, they're paid an average of $83,000 annually, and don't have to contribute anything toward retirement.

BART is the nation's fifth-largest rail system, serving some 400,000 people, the LA Times reports, but reports vary on how much of a disruption shutting it down has caused. The Mercury News says commuters are "scrambling" with severe backups plaguing various highways and massive lines for buses and ferries. But the San Francisco Chronicle says that while buses were indeed packed, the roads weren't that bad. "If I just awoke today and didn't know there was a BART strike, I wouldn't have thought anything was different," says one city official. BART workers, meanwhile, picketed outside stations, waving signs proclaiming that their strike was about safety issues.

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
Jul 2, 2013 12:55 AM CDT
This is what happens when the cost of living keeps rising when the economy stops growing. So why does the cost of living keep rising when no one can afford it? Though not entirely to blame, we'd be better off if we axed the FED False inflation is the worst.
Jul 1, 2013 5:33 PM CDT
I guess Jared Fogle will have to stay away from San Fran until the strike is over or he will have nothing to eat.
Jul 1, 2013 3:41 PM CDT
This is actually misleading: The workers have experienced a pay freeze for the past five years. While the latest offer from BART officials includes a 2 percent annual raise, going up to 8 percent over four years, that is just barely above the increase in the cost of living this year.