In a potentially brilliant political move to win a seat in the California State Assembly, candidate Steve Glazer, a member of the Orinda City Council, is backing state legislation that would ban strikes by public transit workers. Glazer is currently circulating a petition to ban strikes by public transit employees, including BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) workers, most of whom are union members.
Glazer, a Democrat, is running in the affluent 16th Assembly District, a district that contains many Republicans in such affluent towns as Danville, Alamo, San Ramon, Lafayette, and Orinda. By opposing a strike by public transit workers, Glazer may draw votes from Republicans, moderate Democrats, and independents.
The Contra Costa Times has called Glazer Gov. Jerry Brown’s “top advisor.” Brown is a Democrat.
Glazer is not the only Democrat to oppose strikes by public employees. In a letter dated August 16, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote, “All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.” The president added, ” . . . I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees.”
The incumbent Assembly member in the 16 district is Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo). Buchanan, because of term limits, cannot run again.
Other Democratic candidates for the 16th district’s seat are Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti and Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich. The presumed Republican candidate is Catherine Baker, an attorney.
Glazer’s move to end transit strikes has drawn criticism from the labor movement. Glazer was reportedly roughed up by a BART worker a few days ago.
BART was on strike from July 1 to July 5. The BART strike was very unpopular with Bay Area residents.
BART may go on strike again in mid-October. BART carries nearly 375,000 passengers on a average weekday.
Some major American cities restrict transit strikes. These cities include New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.