Monday, March 09, 2009

TWU optimistic, but SEPTA braces for possible strike

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Ongoing talks between Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and Transit Workers Union Local 234 will continue as a March 15 contract expiration deadline looms. Though SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney described the talks so far as "very professional," the agency is preparing for a possible strike.
For its part, TWU does not seek, nor does it anticipate, a strike on that date, said Local 234 President Willie Brown. "That's something we really don't want, that's an absolute last resort for us. Even if there's not a contract … on the 15th, you probably won't see a strike. That's something that we're not really interested in," Brown said.
Brown said the union is evaluating a SEPTA offer that involves some subcontracting issues. "We can't sign a contract without getting some language on subletting, subcontracting our work out, and we asked them for certain information, and they said they'd have it for us" by March 10, he said.

SEPTA's Maloney said the union hopes to respond to the proposal by March 11. Besides the subcontracting issue, other negotiating points involve wages, benefits, and pensions. Talks are scheduled to resume Tuesday.