Thoughts on Today’s BART Strike, Unions and the Value of Workers

Bart TrainSomeone was complaining about today’s BART strike, talking about how it was a drag because traffic was gonna be messed up… Yes of course its gonna be messed up.. That’s the purpose of a strike to shut down business and show the importance workers have to a larger system.. That’s shown when vital services they provide are with held..

If workers as a whole, were stronger and understood their true value and weren’t in such economic dire straits, they would’ve been in a position to call their respective places of employment and say ‘No way am I coming into work if there’s no public transportation’ ..They’d understand that it is not right where CEOs make 320x more than their workers..

Many folks look at unions and say its wrong for them to collectively bargain, while remaining silent as managers and CEOs collectively build to set prices and policies via Trade organizations, lobbying groups and other associations we ain’t even heard about..

Some are upset that union workers are pushing back and demanding a raise, because they haven’t gotten one in 5 years as gas has increased, food has gone up and average rents increase to $3700-4000k in SF for two bedrooms and clearing $2700 in parts of Oakland.. In short Living costs have increased dramatically while living wages remain stagnant or in the case of city workers in Oakland who are also on strike today have decreased 10%…Bottom line is the average worker deserves more, especially when they are working at companies like BART, Wal-Mart and other outlets that had made nice profits..

On the flip side, for those who are in unions and deal with the public day in and day out.. Ideally union folks need to make sure that those in their ranks are more gracious to the people they serve.. Far too many of us have come across rude dismissive workers who left bad tastes in our mouths so much so, that when strikes come up, you hear remarks like ‘F– them Folks’ vs ‘Right on I’m with Ya..’

In my particular case, I’m shouting out the white guy at 20th street BART station who wears glasses and works the booth.. I’m that customer you didn’t wanna help when my ticket got jammed because you thought I was some ‘black guy from Oakland trying to scam the system’ vs a paying a customer who wound up paying a second fare because you ignored my requests…. Remember me? I should post your picture but I’m smart enough to know the fight for workers rights should not hinge on the bad experience one had with a particular individual, but sadly many will..

Hence this a reminder for those who are in unions to make sure public support is there and that starts with good interactions..That includes Oakland Parking enforcement folks who are also on strike today.. All of us are struggling to get by… Many of us are one paycheck away from financial upheaval. Many of us are underpaid and don’t need the extra hassle.

At the same time, we who are encountering workers should bear in mind their job is probably super wack in terms of pay and benefits, leaving them short-changed, so we too can give them a break.. In short like they say: Game Recognize Game.. How about we adopt the understanding Worker recognize Worker and push for all to have better tomorrows

Anyway Good luck on the strike.. Get a good contract..and If I have to deal with a massive traffic jam or don’t have all the city services needed for today for that to happen, so be it.. It’s a small price to pay in a world that is defined by a 1% vs 99% dynamic..

-Davey D-

Comments

  1. mattybeans says:

    Btw, there is no Bart on 20th street.

    • Actually there is.. the both is on 20th street at the 19th street station.. U drive up 20th go down the escalator and there’s the booth..

  2. Davy, I met two retired teachers yesterday, one who had taught in the same school district as I. Rather than talking about the challenges faced by teachers today, the two I had just met, launched into a defense of why they deserved their good pension and hood life today because of choices they made back when… I am so tired of this stand because there is no compassion, no empathy for the non-union workers who make minimum wage, who work two or three jobs and still cannot put food on the table for their children, nor afford regular healthcare… I repeatedly said to my father, from whom I developed my own passion for what unions could achieve, if they chose to do so, if our unions are so good, so strong, so powerful, why aren’t they working for workers everywhere?!?! I continue to believe that we have that obligation–to take a stand on behalf of all, to think not only of our own comfort, but to stand up and together with other workers so all can feed, clothe, see the doctor…and retire comfortably if and when they choose. I apologize to you for their arrogance of union members wherever and whenever you encounter them. #alwaysonthesideofthelittle

  3. Management should hire replacement workers. This confirms FDR view that public workers have no right to strike!

  4. I was at the West Oakland BART station this morning. BART had hired at least six private bus lines to take the train’s place.

  5. ANTI STRIKE! says:

    WOW!! This is the most POORLY written piece of crap I have EVER read, which I cannot even finish reading due to the numerous grammatical errors! You must be plain stupid if you think you can compare CEO’s who can actually write to someone who “deals with the public.” So you are telling me it takes the same brains to work behind a ticket booth, as it does to navigate an entire company and its financial and corporate initiatives.

    You should know that these BART employees make over $60,000 GRAND a year and receive 100% of all benefits (medical, dental, vision, etc.) PAID, PLUS retirement! Now that is a DEAL, and an exceptionally good one in an economy with millions of hard working people still out of work and desperate for this type of SALARY!

    If a person is dumb enough to pay $4000 for a 2 bedroom apartment in Oakland and San Francisco, per your blog, on a $60,000 annual salary then they are dumb! I am a family of two (single mother and child), and I am certainly no CEO. Even I am not dumb enough to live beyond my means. There are plenty of very nice places to live for less than half of what you quote the rents are. I work in real estate, and can vouch your info is inaccurate.

    Stop blogging in support of an ignorant work-force asking for a 21% increase on an already GENEROUS salary for a position that require NO college degree!!!

    • sounds like your whining here mr Anti-strike.. Its ok you’ll get over it..

    • sounds like your doing a lot of whining here Mr Anti-strike and from your remarks its obvious you know very little about the area or the situation at hand.. It’s ok your kind is dwindling.. Have a good day sir..BTW next time you post up on my site using various names, try to change computers so the same IP number doesn’t show up #dummy

  6. I think it’s fine for workers to strike but not for government workers. The taxpayers pay their salary and benefits and they owe a duty to the public. Totally unfair. It’s not like there’s a multimillionaire CEO above them, it’s a bunch of people whose median salary is lower than theirs who are paying them.

  7. Um okay kool.

  8. new to me lol

  9. nice #19

  10. broowneyez@yahoo.com says:

    I completely disagree with you Davey D. You obviously didn’t do your research when you went off on this pro-strike rant. BART workers get generous salaries for the work they do and they get awesome health insurance. They only pay $94 per month and that includes their whole family. On top of that they get FREE pensions! I pay way more than that for insurance and that only includes me. BART workers are SELFISH!! They are not thinking about the negative chain of events they are causing! Why do we have to suffer for their benefit! The BART employees I have come across (usually the booth workers) are so rude and extremely lazy! They gossip and if anyone interrupts them to ask a question about the schedule they give you attitude. DO NOT give them a raise or any more benefits. I wish they could get fired and hire people who would appreciate everything BART gives them. There are so many unemployed people that would love to take their place. I hope BART does not give in to their SELFISH demands!

  11. Wished i listened to my uncle in the mid ’70s, and got a union gig.

  12. alright alright alright lol #12

  13. Sounds like there’s a lot of jealousy around how much Bart employees make. Great article, some people just don’t understand what large organizations do to the little guys. I’m amazed no on on the tread brought up the excessive spending from Bart’s executive team. Lavish hotels and meals means there should be plenty of money to go around…

  14. I like this Davey D – big ups 2 ya! Shared it on my social media. And am talking to strikers. Hope I can get an article together for the SF BAYVIEW Newspaper.

  15. I’m glad to see the power of unity, people standing for something more important than a ball game, a concert or a parade. There are lessons many can take no matter if they believe that the BART employees deserve a raise, or not…if you don’t like what the City is doing, organize thousands of supporters, shut things down, and watch them fall to their knees to give you what you want…not that easy when you try to do it yourself but it just might work…#bartstrike #socialamazement

  16. ANTI STRIKE! says:

    That’s Ms. Anti Strike to you fool, and its sad people cannot respond to your ignorant blog without being threatened…I will assume you are threatening me by suggesting I should’ve used a different computer to hide my IP. It’s okay though…I have already taken screen shots of your post and sent to the police…just in case!

    Oh…and if you think those salaries are high you are dumb. Most of the people over the $200k mark are attorneys and they should make a lot for all the schooling they’ve tad to go through. The rest are not that high for the bay area, and get taxed 50% so you do the math!

    BART employees are lazy and the customer service sucks. I wouldn’t give them a cent more!

  17. it is what it is

  18. Money got the world going crazy

  19. Danielle says:

    I live in Russian Hill and work in Financial District so normally could care less about bart. My boss said if bart strikes u don’t need to come in …she lives in Lafayette. I work part-time and hourly…I cannot afford to miss one day. I’ve been reading about what a bunch of spoiled high schoolers…Hello I have a BA from Berkeley and don’t make as much as bart workers with their GEDs.

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