8:47am

Wed October 16, 2013
Transportation

BART talks continue; no strike Wednesday

BART’s unions called off a strike for the fourth time in less than a week as the two sides continue to try to hammer out a deal. Around 10:30 PM on Tuesday night, federal mediator George Cohen stepped outside to confirm that talks were continuing.

“Progress is being made,” Cohen said, adding that trains would run on Wednesday. Both sides say Cohen, who helped solve the NFL and NBA labor disputes, has been an asset in the negotiations.

BART spokesperson Alicia Trost told reporters on Tuesday that the district was still working within the financial constraints of the “last and best” offer they made on Sunday.

Late Tuesday night, SEIU 1021 president Roxanne Sanchez said in a statement that the union sympathized with frustrated riders, “because we share the same frustration that we’ve not yet reached an agreement.”

“But we are encouraged by the progress we’ve achieved, and at the request of the federal mediators, we will continue to bargain,” she added. “We are prepared to bargain for another day to reach an agreement.”

The unions have not mentioned another strike deadline. If set, it would be the fifth in less than a week.

Union officials said talks finished close to 1 AM on Wednesday and would resume at 10 AM that morning.

Isabel Angell is KALW’s transportation reporter. You can find her work and more stories at transportationnation.org.

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