While you're worrying about how you're going to get to work next week if there's a strike on the BART, we're worrying about our friends who toil for Hearst over at 5th and Mission. That's right, there's not one but two big contracts expiring today -- many Chronicle unions, including the Pressman's Union and the Media Workers Guild, among others, are in the 11th hour of negotiations. And if Frank "Darth" Vega's behavior is any indication, the negotiations aren't going well.

A tipster tells us that the "bulldog" (why are short, fat, mean people always called bulldogs? Bulldogs have pleasant dispositions!) has actually drawn a line on the sidewalk, though it's unclear why. And we've also heard that security has issued management tags for their keycards (our source joked, "So the new guards know who they can rough up I presume"). But these actions are counter to what the publisher is saying: that an aggrement looks likely.

Granted when you come to the table with demands like this, what do you think is going to happen? Oh, vaguely racist comments and grabbing women by the hair probably isn't going to help. Here are the latest bulletins from management and the unions for your reading pleasure. An inside source shared with us that the Pressmen (who are faced with Chron demands such as extensive layoffs and a pretty serious pay cut) go into talks on Friday, and if an agreement isn't reached all union employees across the organization will be expected to strike.

The unions are promising $110 a week to members in the event of a strike or lockout. The SFist policy is to honor any picket, and therefore we will not be linking across the line to articles by dirty scabs.

Update: Latest grist for the rumor mill: Bronstein says "no strike."

Still from ABC News.