tv KTVU News at 4PM FOX October 17, 2013 4:00pm-4:31pm PDT
but there is major breaking news from oakland tonight. we understand that bart workers are going on strike at midnight. >> a line in the sand from unions at bart. within just the past few minutes, the president of seiu union said agreement had been reached on pensions and healthcare and that they were very close on economic resolutions. but the two sides have been unable to reach agreement on three supplemental issues and without resolution the unions say they will go on strike as of midnight. tom vacar live again outside the caltrans building in downtown oakland. tom, it sure does look like this is for real that they are going to walk off at midnight. >> reporter: it certainly does. one of the other negotiators is going to come out josie moone . they are part of the bart organization and the two organizations atu and seiu are interlocked in terms of this contract so if one goes the other goes there is no question in will be a strike of the
entire bart system. now, the situation is interesting because we still haven't heard from the mediator and we still haven't heard from bart. i suspect what it is is bart is going to let the union have their say to come down what they have to say. but at this point in time josie is still in there. we could tell this thing was going bad earlier. here were what a couple of people had to say just a little bit earlier in the day. >> not going to go down for lack of effort. everybody has done everything they could possibly try to do to get this thing together. this should be the final stretch, that's correct. >> reporter: we have not heard a lot of talk of optimism but it's hard to tell if it's from exhaustion or exasperation. >> we have been here all night so it's still more of the same. >> do you think it will continue for a little while? >> like i say, we're working with the mediators and doing everything we can. >> reporter: that is hardly the optimism we were hoping for. optimism that yesterday and the day before is something we
actually saw. what we're doing right now is waiting for the arbitrator to come out. he is coming out right now. we are going to switch over and you will hear what the arbitrator -- mediator, i should say, the mediator has to say. [ inaudible ] >> mediator: good afternoon. my name is george coen. i'm cohen. i'm the director of the mediation service of washington, d.c. on my right the deputy director and on the left the commissioner. i thought i'd give you an update and a report of what has been taking place. as you probably know, we have been here for four days and the three hours, during which time there has been ongoing intense collective bargaining. these parties began this relationship with strongly held competing views and in the
course of our efforts to work with them and facilitate their discussions and lead them toward making agreements, they succeeded in doing just that in a number of very significant items that had previously separated them. however, in the final analysis, certain issues remained, the parties were unable to bridge the gap. our efforts to help them to do that at this point in time was not successful. so we made a mediator's determination that there was nothing further we were able to do, again at this point in time, and as a result, our mediation process has come to an end this afternoon. please understand that we remain ready, willing and able to help the parties if they request us at some future time
to come back in and try to help resolve that dispute. we were very aware that we were not only engaged with the particular parties to this dispute but, in fact, we came from washington because of the public interest, the fact that hundreds of thousands of passengers were affected, local communities were affected, and this is the classic example of a labor dispute that has implications far beyond that of the individual parties. at the end of our closing session, i thanked each of the parties for the cooperation they gave to us, the respect in which they functioned under our auspices, and unfortunately, regrettably, we were not able to bring home the result we all want to achieve, a voluntary collective bargaining agreement. i also want to thank the state
of california to were willing to have us play the lead role here in these mediations. i would also like to thank each of you -- i know you've been here for many days and hours. the nature of our process is such, everything that we do is confidential for the parties that gives them the protection to try to reach agreements with us without fear that they will have public involvement or public discrimination -- distribution, rather, of what happened. that is one of our tools, that is to say providing people a safe haven for confidential constructive and meaningful discussions and they did in fact take place. so thank you very much. that is the statement of our agency. we are returning to washington. the commissioner will be here awaiting further word. when and if the parties ask for
more assistance, we will be delighted to furnish it. thank you very much. >> cooling-off period -- [overlapping speakers] >> i'm not going to be answering any questions. >> your name, please? >> cohen. >> again, we have been listening here to federal mediator george cohen saying that essentially, the mediation process is over. he said that they reached agreement on a lot of issues. actually let's listen to antonette bryant from here atu. i'm the president business units from local 1555 representing train operators, station agents, four workers who operate the dispatching of the trains. we have trainers, we have clerical staff. and i am deeply disappointed to stand here with you today with the rose of my executive board negotiating team. we came here yesterday at 10:00 in the morning. we have not left. so you see us in the same clothes we had on yesterday. a little messed up, a little hungry, a lot tired.
but we came here with a purpose, the same purpose that we came here on may 13th to negotiate a contract that was fair and equitable for our workers and safety provisions for our riding public. today i stand before you deeply disappointed that we were unable to do that. but let me be clear. this is not a union strike. this is a management strike brought on by absolute arrogance and the fact that they thought that they could take workers' rights away. we were close on two separate occasions to closing this deal. we had come together on areas of wages, pension, of everything that they were asking for. we were this close. and yet at the last minute, they threw in a management rights clause to take away our rights as workers. everything else was done. and it should have been done. and we stand here today
disappointed. this continues as an unfair labor practice strike. make no mistake about it, this is not an economic strike. it is an unfair labor practice strike. we're pulled at the behavior of the district to be so cavalier not only with their workers but with the riding public that counts on this system every day to get back and forth to work, to school, to the doctor, wherever they need to go. our workers take pride in our jobs. and our representatives that are standing behind me took the effort every, single day 33 hours later we stand here in front of you telling you that we did everything we could to get this deal done. and i stand here as the president of this local telling our workers, we did the fight, we stood atu proud and strong. and we are bitterly disappointed that the district did not come to the table with the same drive, the same determination, and the same dedication that these men and
women behind me did. i stand here proudly representing those members and i stand here to tell you that unfortunately, yes, we are on strike as of midnight. but it is not a strike the unions ever wanted. and if any of you have been covering this regularly, you are aware of that fact. so this is a management strike caused by their unwillingness to make the deal. >> what's the sticking point, antonette, the work rule you mentioned ? >> there are many. there are many. we asked the district on the issues that were still open to go with us to interest arbitration something that you well know that neither party really wanted to do but we were trying to solve this. and we asked them on three separate occasions, will you go to interest arbitration to settle the open issues? and they flat out refused. so again, this is not something union wanted. i am not taking any questions. i would ask you to respect the fact that we have been up for 33 hours. little food, little sleep.
i appreciate you guys know how to reach me. but i'm not taking any questions. it up. >> antonette bryant saying she is deeply disappointed. >> let's listen to bart's general manager grace crunican. >> this contract this labor negotiation is all about the long-term sustainability of bart and its contributions to the economy and the environment of the bay area. the board of bart is planning on investing in the infrastructure so that our system doesn't turn out to be one of those systems that deteriorates and can no longer provide transportation for the area it serves. our system is old. it's 40 years old and we need an investment in it. so today i put across the table a 3% raise per year equaling a 12% package for our workers.
it includes a 4% pension payment. it includes a 9.5% equivalent medical contribution. and it includes a good deal of rules and regulations that will help retain the balance of management rights at bart so that we are able to better manage this system. this is a 12% package that will be retroactive back to july 5 if voted on and passed by the unions by october 27. after that date, the package we're offering will no longer be retroactive. what happened at the table today is that we have been there for 4 or 5 days very intensely day and night as was stated. and as we've gone back and forth in the packages, the district made it very clear that we have certain rights that we needed to maintain in this package that we had a level we could afford, if some of these rights were included in the package. these are work rules that were essential to maintaining the future efficiency and effectiveness of the agency.
what happened is the unions decided to -- if they wanted to take the money that was on the table but not the work rules that were on the table and they forced us to a situation where we needed to put an offer on the table that was black and white that included the rights we set forward. we hope to continue to work with the union but what's most critical at this point is that the unions take this offer to a vote and that we have an ongoing relationship with them within the confines of a contract. thank you very much. >> are the negotiations over today? >> we continue to negotiate and we're ready but what's very critical is that the union take this contract out to a vote. >> interest arbitration, why not? >> interest arbitration that was offered by the union was only for the work rules. it was not for the whole package for the money. they only gave us half the package. they only offered up half the package to be arbitrated. >> if you did the whole thing would you go again? >> we need to have a discussion about the whole thing but that wasn't requested.
>> how do you feel about the [ indiscernible ] that there will be a strike at midnight? >> it's not management that asked for a strike. it's the union. we are available to continue to bargain and to discuss items. >> what's the work rules? give us the -- everybody wants to know what the work rules are. >> one of the things that's called beneficial past practice was an essential item for us. what that means is, we want to introduce technology into the workforce, for example, and in that introduction of technology it wasn't used in a prior year, then the workers have the right to say that we don't have to do that. so the table is turned on the worker side. one example is pay stubs. we have one union that -- i'm going to tell -- listen up. we all receive electronically our pay stubs online. but because back in history everyone received their pay stub in an envelope, we now use
our four workers time for one union to go out and hand deliver a pay stub to each individual worker and they waste their time doing something that could be done with automation. there are a number of those things that go on at bart and it is time for management to be able to manage. so we put a number of those on the table with a lot of money that is very fair. also included is a bonus program. [ indiscernible ] pay stubs. >> another work item that we have is a result of this past practice is bidding. we have some work that's being bidded every night instead of bid every six months so a worker comes to work and they are not sure which project they are going to work on and they have to bid it every night because of something called beneficial past practices. i'm sorry for the arcane nature of the wording but it's an arcane practice at bart and we need those management rights and we made it very clear in the negotiations that we had to have them. and we are not -- the unions are not agreeing to them. >> how do you feel about [
indiscernible ] now? >> what's going to happen now that there's going to be a strike? probably initially the union is going to pick up a lot of the blame for this. but if this goes on too long, people are already talking about the fact that there ought to be a law that prohibits any transit union from striking. but there's also talk that this model, this elected board model doesn't work anymore. maybe this belongs under mtc, maybe we need a separate rail unit that bart has worn itself out that it's 40 years too old at this point and needs to disappear. are you willing to risk all of that and the anger from the public not knowing what the end game is going to be? >> we need to have a partnership with our unions but it has to be on equal sides. we have put on the table a fair -- a 12% package and for that 12% package we expect to get some management rights so that we are able to better manage and take advantage of technology. another example is hand-held technology or any technology we want to introduce has to be done with the approval of the
workers. >> why wasn't this finished over the 60-day cooling-off period? why didn't both sides get the job done over the 60 days and why did it come to this and -- >> well, that's a good question. we have over the last few days had a federal mediator very competent. we're very grateful for their help. but we have a long way to go and it's important for the unions to come to the table with a willingness to accept both sides of the issues not just the money but the work rules that we need to manage this company effectively. so we're still here. >> the 60 days squandered? >> the 60 days were not squandered. we came much closer as a result of all of the discussions. [ yelling in the background ] >> -- of all the discussions we had, we came much closer on work rules but we didn't get the ones we absolutely had to have. >> how do you feel about how this turned out? how are you feeling? >> we're still in the middle of it. we need a contract at some point in time. so this isn't the end of it. this is the beginning. so there is no end right now. [ overlapping speakers ] >> dropped it on the table at the last minute. can you clarify what the time frame was on this?
>> this request was in our april 1 proposal, this was in our final package that we gave them this week. so it's been on the table for six months. thank you very much. >> listening in as we hear from the general manager of bart. let's listen in here as more union heads continue to speak. >> -- got a job with bart. we're hard workers. i have helped the ridership go through 420,000 people. we are one of the best transit systems in the bay area. she comes over here and gets a two-year lifetime medical. that means after two years of working here, she is able to retire. the workers put a proposal forward and got an agreement at ta, they will take 15 years to
be able to retire with medical. so i ask, who really cares about this system? someone that comes from washington that was fired from washington because it was not able to do her job there to free load on the hard work of the workers of a system that spends over $300,000 to fight cal/osha to put its members in danger. in 2001, killed one of its electricians in the tunnels. in 2008, killed one of its track inspectors because they cut corners every day. and now they come over here and they talk about pay stubs. pay stubs exist so members and workers know what their pay was. if they don't have a computer, they are unable to print a computer. but they don't care about the oh. that is the problem. and you get all petty about issues that don't cost them any money and not important. it's a right of the workers.
and that's what we're fighting for safety and the rights of the workers. and the safety of the patrons and that's what we're going to keep doing. we just spent 30 hours trying to get an agreement. at the same time, we had a management that really didn't care about getting an agreement. all they want to do is mislead the public and try to turn the public against the unions in an attempt to bust the unions. we will keep working and trying to reach an agreement because all our workers care about is to keep moving the public of the bay area. thank you very much. >> we're hearing a lot of back and forth now at that bank of microphones that's been set up in front of the caltrans building in oakland for days now. this is all developing over the past half hour. so we have been bringing it to you live directly. first of course the headline tonight is that bart's union workers have said they will be going on strike at midnight tonight. that means thousands of people
at this point are scrambling to figure out how they are going to get around starting early tomorrow morning. >> hundreds of thousands as a matter of fact. yes, it looks as though there is going to be a bart strike tonight. our coverage obviously will continue on ktvu.com and mobile ktvu. you can also follow us on twitter and facebook for the very latest. it looks like there's just no turning back now and we hear from the bart manager, she says we tried our hardest, you hear from the president of atu, very angry about what happened. er we'll be right back.
they are trying too figure out what started a fire in redwood city. investigators are trying to find out how it started and how many people are directly affected. the fire destroyed part of an apartment complex early this morning. this afternoon, fire crews are still making sure that everyone is accounted for. at this point there are many
mysteries about the fire. robert honda is live in redwood city where it's still an active scene. robert. >> reporter: we are going to be able to solve solve of the mysteries. we are on woodside road across from the apartment complex. during our morning newscast we able to show you flames roaring through the units as well as the mass evacuation. by noon the fire was out and the investigation was on. about two hours ago investigators told us the preliminary search indicates the fire started on that far end of the building what you're seeing now. but at this point no cause is determined. the search for clues, hot spots and hidden victims has been going on throughout the afternoon. redwood city fire investigators brought in cadaver dogs at 2 p.m. to complete a search of the four-story terrace apartments where shortly after 5 a.m. a fire broke out triggering a hectic evacuation with most residents escaping unharmed but, according to the fire department, at least four people still unaccounted for. >> then the dogs go through and
if there is somebody that unfortunately is deceased, the dogs will pick up on it. >> reporter: residents say there was good reason to search. >> we just heard someone upstairs yelling and screaming, help, help, help. >> reporter: the 6-alarm fire swept through one section of the top floor filling halls with flame and smoke. >> i saw fire coming in underneath my front door in my apartment. so i woke my wife up, i grabbed her and my cat, put my cat out on the balcony, i grabbed my wife and we actually climbed down the balcony. >> reporter: others escaped the same way. >> i couldn't believe the smoke. i'm on the top floor. so i with tonight my balcony and once the fire trucks started coming i had to go down the ladder. >> reporter: redwood city, san mateo county and the red cross set up a shelter at the nearby red morton community center where, as of this afternoon, 75 residents had checked in. >> they are running out withite -- without items such as glasses and medications. we have medical assistants here to address those items. >> reporter: now, back live
here at the terrace apartments, i just talked with one of the investigators who says the search for hot spots continues. but the search with the cadaver dogs has just wrapped up. and there were no victims found. so we will have continuing updates on the search for the cause on ktvu.com and our later newscasts. live in redwood city, robert handa, ktvu channel 2news. there are more than 70 unions in the building and you can see newschopper 2 showed the fire did a lot of damage. about 20 units are gutted. the fourth floor of that building bore the brunt of the damage. because it's an older building, it's not required to have sprinklers. today's fire was actually just down the road from another apartment building fire that happened in july. one person died when the hallmark house apartments caught fire. 21 people were injured. the cause of that fire is still under investigation. a bomb scare shut down san francisco's union square for a little over 90 minutes this afternoon. just before noon, a police officer on patrol spotted a backpack and thought it was
suspicious. so officers shut down union square and a one block area around union square and called in the bomb squad. that stopped bus and cable car service in the area. the bomb squad eventually determined the backpack was harmless and reopened that area around 1:30 this afternoon. bay area weather, warm and mild and a lot of us, ibm, hope this is just going to keep on keeping on. >> it's really nice. it is going to keep on keeping on. but except we are going to see a little cooldown as we head towards the weekend. fire danger kind of right there. as you look at the maps you can see the high pressure that's bringing us this very warm especially around the bay area temperatures in the 70s and low 80s. that six around into the bay area weekend. forecast high for san jose for friday 80 degrees. downtown for san jose, 80 degrees downtown around all that concrete. feels like 990 degrees, right? you get downtown you get 80 degrees, it feels like 90 degrees, 10 degrees warmer especially on the concrete. 79 in napa. numbers like today slightly
cooler but slightly. it's not like a big drop-off. it stays that way for the weekend. it cools off for a couple of days. inland numbers lots of 80s, 70s as you head into monday and tuesday but still pretty warm. around the bay it stays in the mid-70s. so there's the five-day forecast for your bay area weekend. it is about as good as it gets around here. fire danger not going off the hook. and just for outdoor weather, beach weather, mountain weather, it's good to get it. >> thank you, bill. thank you for joining us. game 5 of the american league championship series up next a tied series between the red sox and the tigers. >> join us after that game for a special ktvu newscast and again, the major news, this afternoon, a bart strike will be in effect at midnight. more on that coming up after the game. and, of course, at 10:00. >> enjoy the ballgame, everyone. we'll see you later on here on ktvu channel 2.
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