BART strike clearly having negative effect

BART strikes clearly have a huge negative effect, not only on the daily 400,000 riders, but on everyone in the Bay Area.

Just think of all the additional smog created by all the extra cars on the road and especially on spare-the-air days, which we are now having because of the heat.

Just as police and fire employees are not allowed to strike, transit workers should be added to the list. For example, in New York and Chicago, public transit workers are not permitted to strike.

Remember what President Ronald Reagan did when the air traffic controllers went on strike? He gave them two days to get back to work or be fired forever. As a result, the strike was over and those who chose to stay on strike never worked as controllers again.

If we don't change the rules, we will be looking at BART strikes forever.

And don't forget that the workers are very well-paid.

Richard Nishkian

Walnut Creek

BART belongs to Bay Area residents

The greedy BART union bullies have no idea of reality. BART belongs to us Bay Area residents, not to the BART unions.

Bay Area residents make an average yearly income of $46,700, including benefits. Most of us, like me, get no pension except for Social Security. Mine is $17,300 per year.

BART employees don't even realize all the perks they get, such as low copay on health insurance and prescriptions, many sick days, overtime shifts, and much more. They receive an average of $79,000, including benefits. And then they get early retirement and pensions four times greater than mine.

And they want a raise? Unbelievable!

Public employee unions don't work because it is the unions against us citizens. President Franklin Roosevelt said we can never have public employee unions because it is not the same as private sector unions; it won't work.

We now see public employee unions bankrupting our county.

Ella Jensen

El Cerrito

Californians fed up with union antics

Once again, the Times has hit the nail on the head with its editorial, "BART workers' demands aren't based in reality."

The people of California are fed up with the statewide union antics over the last few years.

The solution for BART strikes is very simple: Fire them all! I am willing to wager that the majority of the BART employees would be in line the next day submitting applications for all the nonunion jobs available and ready to work the following day -- the same day the ex-union leaders would be learning how to fill out unemployment applications.

J. Eric Salmon

Antioch

Offering solutions for the BART strike

I have two solutions to BART strikes for people to think about.

Sell BART to a private transit company that knows how to run it efficiently and deal with unreasonable unions. Or have the daily BART commuters, who have many talents, form an association of volunteers to run BART for a modest amount of salary and time, and no perks (rather like doing jury duty).

Carol Alonso

Orinda

BART must stand tough on benefits

The July 2 editorial is right on target.

It's time for BART to stand tough against the employee unions. President Ronald Reagan took on the air traffic controllers.

I believe BART workers should be paid good wages. I don't think wage increases are unreasonable, given the high cost of living in the Bay Area. It's the health care and retirement benefits that are bankrupting the system. BART workers should receive benefits similar to the rest of us.

Now and in the future, BART negotiators should seek to get rid of the union security agreement, lifelong health insurance benefits, and the defined pension plan. Why can't they be on Social Security like their riders? In addition, a "no-strike clause" should be added to their contract.

Getting rid of these unaffordable benefits is the only way to fix BART's systemic problems.

Peter Bernhard

Danville

Paying the BART bond forever

I'm thinking back to the 1960s, when BART was put up on the ballot as a wonderful and needed plan.

One of the selling points was that after it was up and running, the revenue it generated would help it pay for itself. Now here we are more than 40 years later, and the bond is still on our tax bills and rising.

Guess we did not read the fine print and did not realize we would being paying forever. Now we can look forward to the governor's bullet train and our children and grandchildren can take up the burden.

Claire Bartlett

Walnut Creek