Train workers, Amtrak reach tentative dealBy Will Oremus
Amtrak reached a tentative deal with its employee unions Friday, heading off a strike that would have shut down Caltrain and dozens of other railroads nationwide.
Members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the Teamsters union still must approve the contract for it to take effect.
Caltrain officials were relieved at the news, spokesman Jonah Weinberg said. The agency had no dispute with its own workers, but the rail line is operated by contract with Amtrak and depends on about 350 Amtrak union employees.
Caltrain had begun discussing plans to alert customers in case of a work stoppage, which could have come as early as Jan. 30. But the agency hadn't yet publicized the possibility.
"We were always hopeful that (a strike) wouldn't happen," Weinberg said.
A Caltrain shutdown would have forced riders who take more than 35,000 trips a day to take the freeway or find other means of transportation.
Amtrak's Capitol Corridor service between San Jose and Sacramento also would have been affected.
Copyright ©2008 San Jose Mercury News. Published 01/20/2008.