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Oakland Rockridge BART - where's the station agent?



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In the BART labor contract matter, one of the issues that's upset me is the union's request for a three percent wage increase. Now, I'm pro-union, that's not the issue, but we're in a terrible recession, perhaps a depression, and many people are unemployed or just trying to maintain employment. But even with that, we have BART's union workers asking for a raise! With such a request, we have the right to ask "Are you the BART worker giving riders the great service they deserve?

Well, if the actions of this BART Rockridge station agent are any example, the answer's "no." I used BART to ride into San Francisco for a light dinner, and after parking at Rockridge, walked into the station as I always do, but noticed that the station agent booth was empty. I couldn't believe it at first, then figured the person just went to the bathroom, which is cool, but then I noticed the entire desk of the booth was clean, as if someone went home. And there was a sign, "Agent On Break" - ok. It tells me nothing about when the agent's coming back.

That's terrible. The level of disregard for the rider shown by some BART workers is an outrage. Yes, California State Law orders that employers give employees 15 minutes of down time for every four hours of work, but the least the station agent could do is have a note that has the time the agent left and the time the agent's going to return.

That's not too much to ask for.

Benefits versus non-benefits

Some took issue with my "$115K v. $55K" BART workers versus BART riders comparison in my last post on the BART labor matter, saying and writing that the average $115K BART worker income includes benefits. Fine. But the people advancing that observation must remember many BART riders don't have health care insurance of any kind. So I'm not sure what the "benefits argument" proves except that BART workers have good health care.
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