SEIU 1021 released a report this week that exposes the anti-union background of lead BART negotiator Thomas Hock at a press conference held the same day Hock began a 10-day vacation just as bargaining approaches the most critical days — right before a state mediator’s 30-day extension expires on August 4.
On Monday BART informed SEIU and ATU that discussions on their general proposals, including all their economic proposals, could not even begin until Hock returned. That is, after six fruitless months at the table, the unions’ major proposals don’t even get discussed until three days before the end of the extension. And BART still refuses even to discuss the unions’ safety issues.
“Hock intentionally created the conditions for a strike by surface bargaining, a technique designed not to make progress. He used the strike to create a backlash against workers,” said SEIU 1021 President Roxanne Sanchez, noting that Hock is not available to bargain 10 of the 14 days remaining on the extension.
“We, however, are committed and will be here every day, and are asking the BART board and general manager to send someone with the authority to bargain or else they’re creating the same conditions that led to the four-day strike on July 1.”
According to the report, Hock has taken part in negotiations resulting in seven transit system strikes over the past 11 years, including a three-day transit worker strike in Austin in 2008. Hock and his companies have also been accused multiple times of harassment and discrimination based on race, gender and disability.
“We are alarmed that [BART] would have hired an individual with that track record,” Sanchez said. “This negotiation style is not welcome in the Bay Area. It is unnecessary. And to hold at ransom the public and the commuters and our community, and workers without pay, to destroy the little growth we’re having in our economic rebound, is unconscionable.”