- The Washington Times - Monday, July 1, 2013

Monday dawned in San Francisco, Calif., with a nightmare of a commute for workers, as two of the region’s largest transit unions went on strike.

Management and union heads couldn’t reach an agreement on a new contract over the weekend, CBS reported.

“I’m deeply disappointed it has come to this,” said Amalgamated Transit Union Local President Antonette Bryant said at midnight, kicking off the strike, CBS said.

ATU and Service Employees International Union members are trying to negotiate better salaries, pensions, health care and safety agreements with the state. The unions represent about 2,400 train operators, station workers, mechanics and maintenance staffers.

The train operators and station staffers make about $71,000 a year, on average, and another $11,000 in overtime, CBS reported. Their current health insurance costs: A flat $92 each month. They seek a 5 percent raise in salaries over the next three years, CBS said.

The strike will impact more than 400,000 rail riders who will have to hit the highways to get to work.

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