San Franciscans take heed: the Teamsters Union has announced a one-day strike effective October 17.  The Teamsters represent bus dispatchers, supervisors, and maintenance crews working for Golden Gate Transportation in the Bay Area.  The parties are currently in contract negotiations, but those talks are stalling.  Bus drivers represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union will most likely honor the Teamsters’ picket line, so bus service will effectively be non-existent next Friday.

The Teamsters have stated that the major sticking point in contract negotiations is that management officials want to revamp their employees’ health care benefits.  A Teamsters spokesperson characterized the change as a “high-deductible plan with up to $12,000 a year out of pocket.”  Not surprisingly, a spokeswoman for the District disputes the Teamsters’ characterization of the proposed benefits plan.

Interestingly, the hit that commuters take will supposedly not be as bad as it could be.  Statistics show that only about 20,000 riders use the bus lines on Fridays, compared to between 30,000-40,000 for the other days of the workweek.  Regardless, the strike will cause major snafus for those who depend on the bus lines to get to work. 

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