San Francisco Bay area residents are getting ready for traffic jams as two of the area’s rapid transit’s largest unions have gone on strike. Train service has been halted for the first time here in 16 years. More than 4, 00,000 commuters use the fifth largest rail system in the country. This strike would lead to 60,000 more vehicles on the road leading to traffic snarls.
Leaders of both the unions said that they were pushed to the limits in declaring the strike. On Saturday negotiations fell apart and there was a walk out by the unions from the table. Both the unions represent close to 2,400 station agents, train operators, mechanics, professional staff and maintenance workers. Bay Area Rapid Transit on its part said that it had increased its offer of a pay rise from 4 percent to 8 percent over the next four years. It also added that this was on top of a one percent raise employees were to receive on Monday.