The following article has been edited and reprinted from our workplace newsletter at BAY AREA RAPID TRANSIT.
The BART Board approved the tentative agreement and it is now a contract. That means a 10.5% wage increase over three years. But where does that leave BART workers after a 2.75% wage increase in 2020? We are facing the prospect of an even higher rate of inflation than we are facing now — officially 9.1%. Some workers will try to make up for this by working more overtime, but at what cost to their life outside of work, and the wear and tear on their bodies? Some are saying that we have to get ready for the contract expiration in 2025 — that’s at least what the piece of paper says. But what will happen to people’s lives between now and then? Many workers across the country feel bound by the same paper handcuffs of the contract. Inflation hits all workers — some harder than others, but we all have the same interests. Who produces the goods and services and deserve the benefits? It may seem hard to believe that workers, not in just one company, but across the country could stand together and demand what we deserve. But it wouldn’t be the first time.