Members of Service Employees International Union Local 1221, which represents 1,430 mechanics, custodians and clerical workers, and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, which represents 945 station agents, train operators and foreworkers, voted Tuesday. The votes give union leaders the power to call a strike, but they don't necessarily mean that one will occur.
The unions' contracts with BART expires Sunday, so a strike could potentially begin as soon as Monday morning. Key issues in the talks, which began April 1, are wages, health care costs, pension contribution costs, work rules and safety.
The last time BART employees staged a strike was in September 1997. That walkout lasted six days before a settlement was reached.