Commuters, city residents and sports fans alike can breathe a sigh of relief, as SEPTA workers have agreed not to strike over ongoing contract negotiations.
Working without a contract since March, members of the Transport Workers Union Local 234 voted to strike if union leaders and SEPTA management could not agree on a new contract by midnight Saturday. However, thanks to 11th-hour intervention by Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.), workers did not strike. The two sides reportedly are close to reaching a deal.
Union workers had considerable leverage as thousands of riders took public transit to the World Series and other sporting events in South Philadelphia this weekend.
At one point, only hours before the threatened strike was scheduled to begin, TWU President Willie Brown told The Philadelphia Inquirer that he was “95 percent” certain transport workers would strike.
However, as the midnight deadline passed, no work stoppage occurred. Rendell and Nutter arrived soon after midnight to aid in negotiations.
SEPTA released a statement late Saturday afternoon, alerting the public that no service interruptions would occur due to the labor dispute.
“Both negotiating teams met in the Governor’s office and have agreed to continue negotiations until a tentative contract agreement is reached,” the release said.
Under negotiation were health insurance contributions as well as wage increases over the next five years. As of Sunday night, specifics of the talks were not available.Comments powered by Disqus
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