Tag Archives: James Fang

BART Reaches Deal to Avoid Strike

As we mentioned last week, the possible BART strike always had a way out.  And yesterday, the good folks at the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 and the BART Board reached a deal that seems more likely to win approval from 1555’s members.

The two sides announced the deal less than six hours before train operators and station agents had planned to walk out and shut down the regional commuter rail system.

“It’s the greatest thing for the Bay Area. It’s what everybody wanted,” said James Fang, vice president of BART’s Board of Directors.

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“There are no guarantees in life, but we think this is a solid, fair agreement given the economic times,” said 1555 President] Hunt, who pledged to push hard for ratification. “I’m confident our members will do what’s right for everyone involved.” ([SF Chronicle 8/17/09)

A strike would literally toss the Bay Area into chaos.  As shown by the 1997 BART strike, when BART shuts down, so does much of the Bay Area. (See also this Democracy Now audio report from back in 1997.)

These are tough times for all involved, so it’s not surprising that the unions took a hit in this contract. They had to give up over $100 million in labor costs.  However, there must be balance between labor costs, management costs, and ensuring quality service on the trains.  You can’t just look at one leg of that stool. BART had been using some less than friendly labor tactics during this dispute, and as Gavin Newsom pointed out, the rhetoric did get a smidge heated.

On a somewhat related note, why is everybody running to BART Board Vice-Chairman James Fang for quotes on this? As Greg Dewar pointed out, James Fang is a Republican from San Francisco who uses lies and half-truths to get re-elected.  (It’s a non-partisan position.) In a district that is overwhelmingly progressive, Fang has somehow managed to win re-election. And, toss in the fact that he managed to both delay the implementation of the TransLink Card on BART and waste money on a test of a cell phone payment system, this dude really, really needs to go.  There will be another strong challenge in 2010, and hopefully, this time San Francisco’s highest ranking Republican (kind of funny, huh?) will be tossed out of office and quit wasting BART’s money.