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Rail talks resume amid strike in San Francisco

OAKLAND, Calif. — Striking San Francisco Bay Area rail workers and transit agency officials returned to the bargaining table on Thursday for talks that one union leader described as ‘‘frustrating.’’

Joe Bomberger with the Service Employees International Union told reporters as he entered the negotiating site in Oakland that Bay Area Rapid Transit officials were not ‘‘substantially addressing’’ any of the safety concerns that the unions have for the public and workers.

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Bomberger was then pulled away by another union official. The two sides have been told by a state mediator not to speak to the media.

The strike is in its fourth day, though commuters got a reprieve from crowded buses and gridlock on the roads because of the July 4 holiday.

BART is the nation’s fifth-largest rail system and carries about 400,000 commuters each weekday.

The two sides negotiated into the night Wednesday. BART issued a statement, saying it was sorry that the actions of the unions had caused such a tremendous disruption.

The strike began early Monday after talks broke off. Negotiations resumed Tuesday as political pressure and public pleas mounted.

Key issues in the labor dispute include salaries, pensions, health care, and safety.

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