BART strike should have been settled already

This situation should have been resolved by July 3.

BART travels in four directions: Richmond, Fremont, Pittsburg Bay Point and Milbrae.

Now, in between all these stations there are cities that each have their own mayors. All these city councils need to get involved in these negotiations and have this settled by July 15 or earlier.

At the same time, take care of the possible AC Transit situation. Being from Chicago, the Old Man back in his day, Richard J. Daley, would have settled this in 48 hours or less.

Walter B. Beacham

Fremont

BART's main problem: It's a monopoly

The core problem with BART is that it is basically a transportation monopoly. There is limited competition from vehicles such as buses.

In other fields, PG&E and Comcast are basically monopolies. In the case of a monopoly, there are two fundamental courses of action. The first course is to have government regulate the wages and prices of the monopoly. The second course is to destroy the monopoly, possibly by breaking it up into smaller, competing units.

BART will never improve as long as it is a monopoly. Postponing a strike does not change BART's basic structure.

Perhaps some people remember Lily Tomlin from the television comedy show "Laugh-In." Her famous remark about a monopoly was: "We don't care. We don't have to ... we're the phone company."


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Richard S. Colman

Orinda

Management, workers are both overpaid

All BART workers are grossly overpaid. To lead by example, management needs to cut their own bloated salaries and perks first.

Union workers need to realize they are also overpaid and need to contribute to their own pensions just like everyone else. They must quit asking the riders to pay more for their greed. BART employees have it better than the majority of their riders.

Cut all management and union wages by 40 percent and use the money to lower fares -- and maybe clean those filthy cars more often.

Kris Adams

Concord

Workers already earn plenty, should be happy

I find it repugnant that BART workers are asking for so much in pay and benefits increases when they already gross, as reported by this newspaper, about $83,000 a year plus benefits. No wonder they stopped their strike. If the public knew what they earn, there would be no sympathy for them.

I am a professor employed at a public university. Adjuncts, or part-time college professors, which nowadays makes up 78 percent of the professoriate, earn a fraction of what BART employees do. Most professors are paid solely by the number of classes taught and often work with few or no benefits.

Also, bear in mind that the cost of earning a Ph.D. can easily top $200,000, to say nothing of the responsibility that professors have for educating young adults.

Frankly, why is running a train a more valuable service than educating young adults? Considering what professors and other publicly employed people make, BART employees should be grateful for what they already have. Why are they so greedy?

Paige McAdoo

Oakland

Unions lost momentum by postponing strike

The unions' membership is not like a car's engine that can be started and stopped and then restarted again without consequences. The original impulse will be lost, and management counts on it.

The unions' misleaders canceled the strike without any concrete achievement, a conduct that follows a decade of concessions made to management. Concessions are not winning them any respect from management.

It also must be said that the media, including this newspaper, has shown a complete anti-union bias by publishing articles, letters from selfish readers, and BART's managers' letters, which prompted the unions' misleaders to show their cowardice once again.

There's a trend in the national and the state Democratic administrations toward freezing wages, Social Security and pensions; and demanding constant reduction of benefits won by other generation sof workers, for the benefit of bankers and corporations.

The workers need to take strong actions to confront the bosses and get rid of the sellouts who got entrenched in the union halls.

Leo T. West

San Leandro

Unions miscalculated; they should settle

I don't know why the BART unions called their strike for the only three-day workweek in the summer vacation season, when many commuters would have already scheduled vacations.

They deprived their members of premium holiday pay, too. Are they crazy?

BART management can't call a strike. Only the union hierarchy can. And they really goofed. They would be ill-advised to try it again.

Far better for them to settle on the generous terms that BART is sure to offer.

Robert S. Allen

Livermore

Public gets a raw deal with BART strike, pay

The unconscionable BART workers and their unions' strike caused some 200,000 workers problems in getting to their jobs. They disrespectfully did this at the time of a national holiday, the Fourth of July.

The salary of $78,000 per year for BART blue-collar workers likely could start an engineer on a job and more than pay a teacher's salary. BART proposes to pay them even higher, $82,000 to $84,000. That's obscene.

Under the unions' proposal, average pay would climb to about $93,000 in 2015. That's outlandish -- especially for people who can get a BART job with only a GED -- when there are thousands of people out of work, some with college degrees and advanced degrees.

BART workers currently pay a paltry $92 per month for medical care for themselves and their families. I, a senior citizen, pay $173 monthly.

An Internet report says BART workers cost the government $120,000 per employee -- high, considering levels of education, training and accomplishments.

The public is getting a raw deal and it's really costing the taxpayers. Something needs to be done.

Evelyn Botti

El Sobrante

Many people would love to take workers' jobs

All those BART people on strike should quit their jobs.

There are plenty of available people out of work who would appreciate making $70,000 to $80,000 per year. Rest assured, the vacancies would be filled with quality folks happy to have a job with BART.

Richard Splenda

Berkeley

Must rethink the need to commute every day

Postponing the BART strike is an opportunity to talk about the problem our companies have created by insisting employees commute long distances from their homes to congested cities.

What we need to do is outlaw the greedy BART unions.

Give huge tax advantages to companies to move their business to where the workers live and for those with company-owned buses picking people up at public parking lots.

Give tax deductions for carpools and for encouraging workers to do their jobs at home. Allow flexible hours for employees. More students could get an education at home with computers and home teachers.

We would have fewer burglaries if more people would work and study at home. Think of the savings to taxpayers, less crime, and less congestion on our freeways.

Today the BART unions have all the power -- and we gave it to them. Power corrupts and that is what we need to change.

Al Paltin

Orinda