San Francisco transit-workers sickout ends, Muni service restored
Cable cars in San Francisco began running again Thursday after a three-day sickout by some workers had seriously hampered bus and light-rail transit service.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency announced that the city’s light-rail, cable cars and bus systems were returning to their regular routes as workers, upset over a proposed contract, returned to the job.
When the sickout started Monday, Muni service was operating at 54%, but transit officials expected that to return to 90% Thursday.
The sickout came after a vote Friday by Muni operators on a proposed contract calling for them to contribute 7.5% of their pay toward their pensions, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
San Francisco City Atty. Dennis Herrera filed unfair labor practice charges Wednesday with the Public Employees Relations Board against the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A to end the sickout.
“This is an unfortunate attempt by the union to get around a law and contract provisions they don’t like,” Herrera said in a statement. “The Charter is clear that an impasse such as this one is resolved with neutral arbitration. Let’s do what the law says, begin the arbitration process and get San Francisco moving again as soon as humanly possible.”
Eric Williams, the union’s president, urged workers on Wednesday to remain calm in light of the new charges.
“As we proceed with our efforts to negotiate a fair contract, I urge all of you to remain calm and to resume and continue the excellent service we give the public,” he said in a statement.
The region’s other transportation alternative, Bay Area Rapid Transit, honored Muni passes during the sickout.
Twice last year, BART workers initiated their own strikes, temporarily paralyzing the region.
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