BART confirms Glazer’s complaint about illegal campaigning, says union wasn’t honest about activities

Orinda, CA— In a statement late Monday evening, BART Board President Thomas Blalock acknowledged that BART personnel illegally engaged in campaign activities on behalf of Senate candidate Susan Bonilla in the May 19th State Senate special election.

BART claims they were fooled by union leaders in approving these ‘meetings’,” said Orinda Mayor and Senate candidate Steve Glazer.

But they ignored the fact that many of these gatherings occurred in open work areas with election posters and flyers and under the watchful eye of management.”

The Glazer for Senate campaign released photos of BART workers engaged in rally-type events and advocating for the election of Bonilla. There was also a photo of workers in a classroom listening to union leaders while a video featuring Bonilla was being shown on BART-owned audio-visual equipment. Union leaders featured in numerous pictures included BART Chapter President John Arantes and BART Concord Chapter President Dan Jameyson.

I appreciate BART’s swift investigation and confirmation that there is widespread illegal campaign activities throughout BART workplace facilities,” said Glazer. “While I had photographic evidence at three locations, I believe these activities are even more widespread.”

BART claims that they were fooled by the union and approved ‘meetings’ during break time. BART fails to acknowledge that many of these so-called meetings took place in open areas with campaign posters and flyers and under the watchful eye of management.”

BART implies that only future campaign activities will be subject to disciplinary action, ignoring the fact that professional union organizers made false statements about the purpose of these ‘meetings’ at numerous places and times.”

I reiterate my call that a full inquiry needs to be conducted by an independent party to ensure the fairness of the review. Given my criticism of management’s role in these activities, the BART Board of Directors should insist that the investigator be in a position to hold both union members and managers accountable.”

I know there is resentment by BART unions and management for my criticism of their involvement in the eight days of strikes in 2013. These actions by the union and management resulted in exorbitant pay raises in an agency that claims that it has no money for train, station and technology upgrades. But that is no excuse for allowing this illegal conduct at numerous BART facilities and a cursory investigation.”

In press interviews, Union President Pete Castelli claims that if any campaign activity occurred, it was the result of spontaneous individual conduct. He ignored the obvious fact that Union organizer Dan Jameyson was in every ‘spontaneous’ campaign picture even though he is not on work assignment at any of the three work areas or various work shifts. BART’s preliminary findings dispute this.

If union leaders show this type of disdain for following the rules and being truthful, it is not a surprise that the collective bargaining process broke down and eight days of debilitating strikes occurred,” Glazer added.

Glazer is Mayor of Orinda and a Trustee of the California State Universities. He is competing in a special Senate runoff election that ends on May 19th. He was the top vote getter in the primary, leading his second place finisher by more than 10,000 votes. The Senate District includes most of central and eastern Contra Costa County as well as the cities of Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin in Alameda County.

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