Influential San Francisco business leaders on Wednesday called on Gov. Jerry Brown to personally get involved in BART labor negotiations, a prospect that appears unlikely.
Negotiations between BART and its unions have been on hiatus since Brown successfully requested that a judge impose a strike-free 60-day cooling-off period beginning Aug. 11.
That means the two sides are no closer to agreements on pay, health care and pension costs. State mediators — appointed by Brown prior to the 4½-day strike in July — haven't scheduled the next negotiating session.
When it is called, leaders from the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and hotel, restaurant and real estate interests — organizations that wield considerable political power, at least in The City — hope Brown or someone from his office can be there.
"Sometimes it takes new faces to break through a log jam in order to reach an agreement," reads the letter sent to Brown.
To date, politicians have been unwilling to insert themselves into the labor fight, which would potentially put them in the middle of the riding public and the unions — and risk losing the support of one or both.
Applying political pressure would be the last and final option for Brown, who cannot call another cooling-off period and who, before the judge's order, appointed a special panel to review the progress of negotiations.
As of now, the prospect of Brown's direct involvement is "premature," said spokesman Jim Evans.