Bay area transit workers set to vote on strike

SAN FRANCISCO - Bay Area Rapid Transit workers are scheduled to vote on whether to allow their union to call a strike if it is unable to reach a new labor deal with management.

The transit agency's two largest unions are set to hold strike authorization votes throughout the day on Tuesday.

Unions representing train drivers, mechanics, station agents and maintenance workers are fighting efforts by BART to get workers to contribute more to their health insurance and reduce overtime expenses.

The transit agency says it needs to control costs to help pay for new rail cars and other improvements.

The two sides say they are optimistic a deal can be reached. But an affirmative vote Tuesday would allow union management to call a strike.

The current contract is set to expire on Sunday night.

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