Golden Gate Bridge workers to go on strike 

click to enlarge Golden Gate Bridge
  • Eric Risberg/AP file photo
  • The unions representing Golden Gate Bridge transit district workers announced Monday afternoon that they will go on strike starting Tuesday morning.

The unions representing Golden Gate Bridge transit district workers announced Monday afternoon that they will go on strike starting Tuesday morning, after meeting with district officials all day to try to come to a labor agreement.

But due to all-electronic tolling, motorists can still cross the bridge.

Machinist Local 1414, part of a union coalition that authorized work stoppages last month, will be the first to go on a one-day strike starting at 6 a.m. Tuesday and ending at 3:30 p.m.

The action will not impact bus and ferry services.

All 13 unions that make up the Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition voted Aug. 4 to proceed with a strike, but met several more times with Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District officials. On Friday, coalition Co-Chair Alex Tonisson announced that the group would notify the public of strike dates if an agreement was not reached.

Tonisson said the bridge district did not honor an agreement made in 2012 over retiree health care.

"They made some minor economic movements that actually impact a minority of bridge workers, so there was no contract agreement today," he said.

Employee contributions to health care was the main sticking point in negotiations.

The most recent contract proposal would give bridge employees a 3 percent wage increase annually, but the coalition argued the increases in their health care premium would cost 2 percent in wages.

Bridge district General Manager Denis Mulligan said the district offers "very generous, first-class medical plans and competitive wages," and that employees were asked to pay more because the most expensive plan, a PPO, costs the agency $33,000 annually per family.

Strikes will be decided on a day-to-day basis and the coalition hopes to meet with the district to continue negotiations soon, Tonisson said.

About The Author

Jessica Kwong

Jessica Kwong

Bio:
Jessica Kwong covers transportation, housing, and ethnic communities, among other topics, for the San Francisco Examiner. She covered City Hall as a fellow for the San Francisco Chronicle, night cops and courts for the San Antonio Express-News, general news for Spanish-language newspapers La Opinión and El Mensajero,... more
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