Safety Meetings: Everything BUT Safety

Note: This article comes from the most recent edition of Speak Out Now’s BART Newsletter. BART is the commuter rail system that serves the Bay Area in Northern California. The “System Service” classification described in the article is the classification that cleans the stations.

When BART workers raise safety issues that need addressing, they often fall on deaf ears. Management claims to understand and then makes excuses for why the situation cannot be dealt with immediately.

In System Service, the meetings are just an excuse to reinforce rules that don’t have anything to do with safety – things like “don’t leave the station on your breaks, take them on time, sign the elevator log, wear your uniform,” and the list goes on…

In other departments as well, safety meetings are used by management to impose their policies.

But what if workers turned these into real safety meetings to make sure these issues really got resolved?