BART workers went on strike after failed negotiations with the management. Areas of concern for the workers included; overtime amendments involving training schedules, the tax benefit, additional flexibility on employees pay for the costs of family medical consent, splitting the company’s bonus of up to one thousand dollars into a six month period for every employee if BART surpasses ridership estimates this fiscal year by 1 %, adjustment in long term upkeep insurance options and retirement services (Mike ). Federal mediators who were part of the talk confirmed that the two conflicting parties succeeded in agreeing to certain issues, such as healthcare, salary and pension contribution but were unable to agree on work rules (Mike ).
A successful negotiation has to involve a sound strategy and tactic. First it is vital to choose the right time for mediation; many disputes can be and are settled early enough. Early mediation ensures that the situation is controlled before both parties suffer any negative consequences that might result from the dispute. Early negotiation is also important for those who depend on the company for services, in case the dispute is not resolved in time it means they will not enjoy servicer they are used to or which they prefer compare to other competitors (David ).
The failure or success of meditation regularly depends on who the mediators are. In the case of BART workers, it would be better if the directors had presented themselves to negotiate with workers instead of leaving all the work to the management team. They should also have employed an experienced team of mediators who are more experienced in such matters to advise them on how to solve the dispute amicably (David ).
The mediating teams should also have some knowledge about the demands and offers of their opposing teams; this information will help both sides prepare on their presentation instead of confronting each other on facts that might not represent their interests. It is important to be realistic on these demands and offers so as to seal the deal fairly. The disputing parties should also be polite to each other and be patient, solving a dispute when each party feels that their demands are more legitimate might not work since maybe the other party might not have the means to fulfill all demand. The conflicting parties should then finalize by formalizing their agreements and form enforcement and commitment mechanisms (Alyssa ).
It would be wise if the directors and the management team had used a different approach in engaging the workers. They should have dug into the problem more and get to know more about why the workers were planning to go on strike, this would help them get solution that would help avoid the strike (David ). Then they should have the directors of the companies in negotiating with the workers, the workers would have felt that their grievances are being taken seriously by the management because they are addressing their issues to the top organ of the company. The directors then listen to complains from the workers sides and present their end of the deal; this includes how best they can solve the workers complains. If their suggestions are rejected, they then discus about the possible options and make an agreement that suites both the interests of the management and workers (David ).
Alyssa , Figueroa. 7 Key Things You Need to Know About the BART Strike in California. 1 July 2013. 21 April 2014 <http://www.alternet.org/labor/7-things-you-need-know-about-bart-strike-california>.
David , Churchman. Negotiation: Process, Tactics, Theory. New York: University Press of America, 2007.
Mike , Rosenberg. BART strike negotiations resume. 09 October 2013. 21 April 2014 <http://www.timesheraldonline.com/news/ci_24057819/bart-strike-negotiations-resume>.