Golden Gate Bridge workers to strike Tuesday

Machinists in the Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition will hold a one-day strike Tuesday at the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District’s office at the bridge’s toll plaza.

The strike is from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and traffic on the bridge will not be impacted during the Unfair Labor Practice strike, labor coalition co-chair Alex Tonisson said.

Representatives of 13 unions in the labor coalition and the bridge district negotiated today before the strike was called at 4 p.m. The 450 union employees in the labor coalition are ferry deckhands and captains, bus service workers and mechanics, bridge ironworkers and inspectors and construction trade employees, Tonisson said.

The union members voted in August to authorize a strike and there has been no contract settlement since then, Tonisson said. The bridge district is proposing a three-year contract with an annual 3 percent wage increase and an increase the cost of employees’ healthcare premiums that is equal to 2 percent of wages, Tonisson said.

The district and unions have been negotiating since April and have been working without a contract since July 1, Tonisson said.

Art Gonzalez of Machinists Local 1414 said:

“We cannot trust the District on healthcare, and this ULP strike shows why the machinists and the coalition will not agree to healthcare concessions being pushed by the district at the bargaining table. …¬†All the (labor) Coalition unions at the worksite will be honoring the machinists’ picket line.”

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District said it has been negotiating weekly in good faith with the labor coalition since April.

The district said in a statement:

“The District has offered compromises on numerous issues in an effort to reach an agreement, including modified proposals offered just this morning. … Despite the District’s ongoing willingness to bargain, the Coalition has advised of its intention for a limited strike tomorrow. Fortunately the Coalition has stated that the strike will not affect the bridge, bus or ferry commuters.”