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San Francisco Transit Workers Will End Strike as Talks Continue

San Francisco Transit Workers Will End Strike as Talks Continue
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) employees with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021 hold signs while picketing in front of the Lake Merritt BART station in Oakland on July 2, 2013. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Employees of Bay Area Rapid Transit, the commuter train system that carries 400,000 riders a day across San Francisco, agreed to end their four-day strike while negotiations on a contract continue.

The transit authority, known as BART, and worker unions agreed late yesterday to extend the current contract for 30 days. Train service will resume by 3 p.m. today, with limited charter bus service running in the morning and evening, BART said in a statement on its website.

The strike, which began July 1 and forced thousands to commute by car, bus or ferry, and thousands more to stay home, was the first in 16 years for the system. The two sides’ differences “remain unresolved,” BART General Manager Grace Crunican said in the statement.

“Despite lots of hard work, BART and its unions have failed to come to an agreement on contract issues that matter to all of us today and into the future,” Crunican said. “We still have a wide gap of disagreements to bridge over the next 30 days.”

The trains were shut down by the Service Employees International Union, representing mechanics and clerical workers, and the Amalgamated Transit Union, which includes train operators and station agents, after their contracts expired June 30.

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