STRIKEWATCH: AC TRANSIT BUSES, BART TRAINS TO RUN THURSDAY

STRIKEWATCH: AC TRANSIT BUSES, BART TRAINS TO RUN THURSDAY

Michele Ellson

Updated at 10:31 p.m. Wednesday, October 16

Governor Jerry Brown put AC Transit workers' strike plans on hold Wednesday, notifying the East Bay bus service that he's assembling a three-person panel to examine both sides' position in the contract impasse. As a result, buses will roll for the next seven days.

Meanwhile, the federal mediators working to broker contract deals at BART announced Wednesday night that trains would roll Thursday, and one of the unions announced that negotiations would continue.

AC Transit had asked the governor to seek a court-ordered 60-day cooling off period in an effort to prevent a strike - something Brown could still do if the contracts aren't resolved soon. The union representing AC Transit's drivers, mechanics and dispatchers - nearly 1,800 workers - reportedly planned to announce whether they'd walk off the job Thursday by 10 p.m. Wednesday.

The bus service's managers and its employee unions had inked two separate contract agreements, but workers rejected them both, leading to the call for a strike.

AC Transit ferries more than 180,000 passengers a day; BART, about 400,000.

Brown had put together a similar fact-finding panel for BART before winning a court-ordered cooling off period to put off a strike over the summer. But the extra time wasn't enough for BART management and the rail line's unions to reach contract deals.

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