A month ago, after several negotiation attempts, BART workers challenged management`s irresponsibility and went on strike. The first strike since 1997!
That was a very important example for other unions and for all workers in the Bay Area. It showed that it is possible to fight against austerity, and if the strike is built the right way, it is possible to win.
It also showed that making concessions when the economy is bad, does not guarantee better pay and working conditions when times are good again. Now that BART expects a $125 million surplus per year for the next decade, they still want to attack pensions, health care, pay, and not cede anything on security measures.
BART, helped by the media, managed to avoid a final confrontation and delay negotiations for another month.
Now that the extension is close to an end, it is important that unions show that they did not call off a strike for nothing.
We must now be more organized, mobilized and willing to fight than before in order to win this struggle. This rally is an important step in that direction.
Our organization – Workers` Voice – supports BART workers` struggle, since it is an important example on the need of fighting against austerity, and will be present in case you strike. We are also building support in every union and movement we intervene, such as United Educators of San Francisco, United Auto Workers and the student movement.
LET`S PREPARE A NEW STRIKE!
The contract`s new expiration date is Sunday 12 a.m, and there is no sign BART management is going to cede.
Even with BART`s union-busting policy and the media trying to turn the community against workers, a second strike is still our best shot. There is no other way to avoid concessions in pensions and health care, pay freeze, and worse work conditions.
In order to be successful, it is important that this time the strike is built with broad support and democratic organization by unions.
That means including rank and file workers in picket lines, in strike organization and decisions. And it also should include other unions, political organizations, social movements and community in everyday strike activities, so that they can show their support, and help organize the strike.
This way, it is possible to build a strong strike, with broad support in the labor movement and community, and win.
– ALL SUPPORT TO BART WORKERS` FAIR DEMANDS!
– NO CONCESSIONS IN PAY, PENSIONS AND HEALTH CARE!
– STRIKE FOR OUR RIGHTS AND FOR BETTER AND SAFER TRANSPORTATION FOR ALL!