Governor Brown Orders Inquiry, Averts SF Rail Strike

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Hundreds of thousands of San Francisco Bay area commuters got at least a temporary reprieve from a massive transit strike when Gov. Jerry Brown intervened in a labor contract dispute.

Sunday night's eleventh hour order averted the walkout and left the morning commute to proceed normally, without the widespread travel congestion that a strike involving Bay Area Rapid Transit would have created.

A BART spokesman said the transit authority's board president sent a letter to the governor requesting his intervention and a cooling off period of 60 days. The governor issued an order with considerably less time of a week.

Union leaders issued a critical statement after the order, accusing BART management negotiators of stalling until only hours remained before the strike would have begun to provide counter proposals on core pay and benefits.