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San Francisco transit ‘sickout’ in 3rd day

  • ASSOCIATED PRESSA worker walks past cable cars not in service at the cable car barn and powerhouse in San Francisco, Tuesday, June 3, 2014. San FranciscoÕs famed cable cars were halted for a second straight day, and the rest of the city's transit system experienced delays after drivers called in sick again on Tuesday, days after overwhelmingly rejecting a new labor contract, officials said. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A worker walks past cable cars not in service at the cable car barn and powerhouse in San Francisco, Tuesday, June 3, 2014. San FranciscoÕs famed cable cars were halted for a second straight day, and the rest of the city's transit system experienced delays after drivers called in sick again on Tuesday, days after overwhelmingly rejecting a new labor contract, officials said. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SAN FRANCISCO >> San Francisco’s famed cable cars remained idle on Wednesday morning on the third day of a worker sickout, but light-rail trains and buses returned to their regular routes as service improved.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency was operating at about 70 percent of its normal service, up from 50 percent a day earlier and 33 percent on Monday, spokesman Paul Rose said.

Rose said cable cars could also resume service in the afternoon.

"The fact that we have more vehicles on the street than the last two days leaves us cautiously optimistic," he said.

Workers and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency are at odds over a new contract. Workers overwhelmingly rejected a contract proposal on Friday that union officials said would have resulted in a pay cut.

The drivers’ union president, Eric Williams, said Tuesday that the labor group has nothing to do with the sick calls and urged those who called out to be prepared to have a doctor’s note.

The agency known as Muni runs buses, light rail and street cars in addition to the cable cars and serves about 700,000 passengers each day. Its operators, represented by Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, rejected the contract by a 1,198-42 vote Friday, according to totals on the union’s website.

Williams declined to comment on operators calling in sick because he said the union had no role in sanctioning the move. He sent a letter t

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