Trains will resume in San Francisco today following a strike, after the San Francisco Bay Area transit agency and its two largest unions agreed to extend a labor contract for a month while they continue bargaining. A statement released late yesterday by Bay Area Rapid Transit said trains will begin running by 3pm. The agreement between the agency and its unions will be extended for 30 days, but BART boss Grace Crunican said there is a wide gap between the two sides.
Antonette Bryant, president of one of the unions, said BART is on notice and has 30 days to hammer out a deal. "We're not going to let them hijack us and the riding public, and we are deeply sorry this had to happen," Bryant said. The unions—which represent nearly 2,400 train operators, station agents, mechanics, maintenance workers and professional staff—want a 5% raise each year over the next three years. BART said it is offering an 8% salary increase over the next four years as well as reducing the amount of employee contributions it originally requested for pension and medical benefits. (Read more Bay Area Rapid Transit stories.)