BREAKING NEWS: BART to Operate Friday and This Weekend

OAKLAND (KRON) — BART will be operating for the Friday commute and throughout the weekend.

Roxanne Sanchez with the Service Employees International Union says while there won’t be a strike Friday, one is possible on Monday.

“We will continue bargaining throughout the weekend,” Sanchez says. “However, we do need to notify and advise the public that because the cooling off period ends tonight at midnight that if there is no agreement by Sunday at 12:01 a.m. that there would be a strike. Let there be no misunderstanding however that with the board getting involved and the legislative leaders assisting and the General Manager willing to sit down at the bargaining table that the unions are continuing to negotiate and hope to avoid a strike.

The announcement came with just minutes to go before the cooling off period ended.

“BART and its unions signed an extension of talks through Sunday night, averting a strike through the weekend as negotiations continue. The unions announced that if there is no agreement by midnight at Sunday, they will strike on Monday,” BART spokesman Rick Rice said in a written statement late Thursday night. “We are grateful the Bay Area will not be impacted by our unions for the next few days and that the trains will be running while we continue to negotiate. BART was prepared to offer a new proposal today but the unions told us they were not ready for it. We will continue negotiations tomorrow at 10am.”

Earlier Thursday both sides seemed cautiously optimistic.

“We’re just talking to meet to get something done,” BART lead negotiator Thomas Hock says. “In terms of when it’s going to end, whether it ends at midnight or otherwise, I don’t control that, they do. I don’t walk out.”

“BART has every opportunity to resolve this,” ATU negotiator and train operator Chris Finn says. “We’ve been at this since April First, and we’ve demonstrated time and time again that the unions are doing everything possible. When BART hires someone who causes strikes and then people start asking what the unions can do to resolve this, we’ve done everything we can.”

Dan reports union officials are somewhat optimistic that BART’s general manager may be joining the talks.

Stay tuned to KRON 4, our KRON 4 Mobile App, and for the latest on the BART talks.

(Copyright 2013, KRON 4, All rights reserved.)

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