Friday, October 23, 2009

SEPTA TWU workers weigh authorizing strike

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Transport Workers Union 234 may vote to authorize a strike against SEPTA as early as this Sunday, though it’s unclear just how quickly such a move would materialize after the vote is taken. The union, SEPTA’s largest, represents bus drivers, subway and trolley operators, and mechanics; it has been without a contract since spring.

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SEPTA regional rail service, covering Pennsylvania's five-county Philadelphia metropolitan area, would continue to run if a strike occurred.

SEPTA and the union reportedly are unable to come to terms over wages, benefits, and subcontracting issues. The last strike suffered by SEPTA occurred in 2005. The TWU seeks an annual wage increase of 6% and a $25-per-month increase in pension payments for each year of service. SEPTA has not made public its counteroffer.

“We think we can get a deal; there's no need for a strike," said a SEPTA spokesman.