Negotiations continue with Golden Gate Bridge Coalition, Union members ready to strike

 

Following negotiations this past Monday, the Golden Gate Bridge Highway & Transportation District and the 13 unions comprising the Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition, including Local 21 members, remain at loggerheads.

At issue is the District’s proposed increases in the amount it is asking the Coalition to pay for healthcare premiums. A wage increase of 3% is on the table; however, with the additional out-of-pocket premiums, the increases will not bring the Coalition members up to the cost of living (CPI in the Bay Area is currently at 3%). 

Alex Tonisson, co-chair of the Coalition, said the District is playing a “shell game,” and that its move at the table to increase wages does not equate to bargaining in good faith.

"Since April we’ve been trying to negotiate over the proposed high deductible Bronze plan,” Tonisson said. "The District maintained it was needed in anticipation of the Affordable Care Act's 40 percent excise tax, which will not take effect until 2018.  The District wants the Coalition to agree to a proposal that doesn’t even avoid the 40 percent ACA excise tax under the current law." 

"If the District is unwilling to address our concerns about the Bronze plan, we are not willing to accept it.”

On August 4, members of the Coalition, including ferry deckhands and captains; bus servicers and mechanics; bridge ironworkers and inspectors; and construction tradesmen and women, have announced that they have unanimously voted to proceed with strike action. The employees have been working without a contract since July 1. 

The public has been engaged around this issue, and the Coalition’s work has garnered local and national media attention. A website, www.goldengatelabor.com, has seen thousands of hits since its launch in late July.

Have you signed the petition to support these employees? Please do so by clicking here.