Media Center

Oct 10

BART Fine Confirms Management Culpability in 2013 Track Worker Deaths

ATU: No personal responsibility, calls for criminal charges

A Northern California judge fining BART for safety violations in the tragic death of two track workers confirms BART senior officials’ culpability and callous disregard for human life and safety in the rush to get service running during the October 2013 strike says the Amalgamated Transit Union International (ATU).

“Two men were killed doing their job, but those responsible for the decisions that lead to their tragic deaths got off with nothing more than a ‘slap on wrist’ with this fine that won’t even come out of their deep pockets,” said Hanley. “The lesson here is that if you want to commit manslaughter and face no penalty, kill your target on the job!”

The two were inspecting the track when they were struck and killed by a train that was allegedly being operated in automatic mode by an inexperienced manager who was training non-union replacement drivers. 

“In their rush to get service back on the street under pressure from the Bay Area Council and others, BART officials put unqualified workers in safety-sensitive positions, and the results were tragic,” charges Larry Hanley, ATU international president. “This could be a criminal act. We call for an appropriate criminal investigation to hold these BART executives responsible for their reckless actions.”   

The union says while the fine is appropriate, it does not go far enough and highlights how executives and working people are held to different standards of the law.