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AC Transit Workers Issue Strike Notice, May Walk Off Job Thursday Morning

OAKLAND (KCBS) — On the heels of a possible BART strike, workers for AC Transit issued their own 72-hour strike notice on Monday, which could lead to a possible walkout Thursday morning.

Workers for Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192 are also demanding the transit agency return to the bargaining table.

The announcement comes after the workers represented rejected two contract proposals that union negotiators agreed to. Transit officials said they received a letter from the union saying that workers plan to go on strike at 12:01 Thursday morning.

The latest proposal included a higher pay increase, lower health care contributions and changes to work rules. Workers rejected the proposals, saying they have endured cutbacks and lean contracts over the past several years.

"Just as homeowners are underwater on a mortgage, AC Transit employees are feeling underwater after this recession," said Yvonne Williams, president of ATU Local 192. "Our negotiating committee worked very hard to achieve this agreement with strong community support. We are very appreciative of that support. We will meet to determine next steps shortly."

AC Transit spokesman Clarence Johnson said he had not been officially notified of the vote and could not comment.

Union representatives had no further comment, including on the possibility of a strike. Members voted overwhelmingly in June to give their negotiating team authorization to call a strike as their July 1 contract deadline neared and again in August. In those instances, a strike was averted because of progress at the bargaining table.

No negotiations have been scheduled as of Monday afternoon.

The strike notice from AC Transit comes as BART workers are set to stage their second walkout in four months as early as Tuesday morning.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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