Several of the 17-lawyer firm’s attorneys have passed many a coffee- and diet-cola-fueled night of late working on the negotiations between local 1555 of the Amalgamated Transit Union and BART management. All that hard work has won the specter of a hellish commute for hundreds of thousands of Bay Area residents come Monday morning. Talks broke down after the union rejected a tentative labor agreement and the BART board voted on Thursday to impose terms of employment on the union.
“Often when folks talk about labor negotiations, the general impression is ‘What is there to discuss?’” said Leonard Carder lawyer Margot Rosenberg, on a break from arbitration for another client today. “It turns out the BART contract was hundreds of pages long.”
The long nights are worth it to defend collective bargaining agreements that become vulnerable in hard financial times, she said, giving credit to colleague Victoria Chin for leading the firm’s efforts on behalf of the BART workers.
“We expect a very busy weekend,” Rosenberg said. “We don’t know the turn it will take. You kind of have to put your life on hold.”
— Kate Moser