This is a hard one for me because I grew up with a father who made living union wages. I think unions are good things, they help people. Or at least that’s what they’re supposed to do. But with strikes imminent, I’m having a hard time with the BART employee’s union. I’m paying almost as much to commute into the city on BART as it would cost in gas and bridge tolls, but I do so because it’s better for the environment and a little less stress for me. I put up with the fact that BART lets transients use their cars as overnight shelters, putting in little to no effort to clean up or even air out the trains in the morning, because it’s better for the environment. I know that if I ask a BART employee for help they are going to be rude and surly, and possibly rob me (true story). I just have to keep reminding myself it’s for the environment.
But wow, I’m not sure if someone sitting in an information booth should be making over $100k, or if train conductors should be paid more than tenured UCB professors to send text messages to their friends. And BART definitely should not be forced to over staff during the holidays or rent a large parking lot for six employees. And I really, really do not feel that my tax dollars should be subsidizing such egregious and outlandish avarice on the part of the BART employees union. Not all unions are bad, but this one certainly is.