SEPTA in the Driver's Seat

By Tamara Vostok
|  Thursday, Mar 12, 2009  |  Updated 1:29 PM EDT
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SEPTA in the Driver's Seat

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Close to 5,000 SEPTA workers won’t go on strike Sunday when the clock strikes 12:01am and their contracts expire. This puts SEPTA in the driver’s seat.

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As the clock strikes 12am Sunday, close to 5,000 SEPTA workers' contracts will vanish.  But they won't go on strike.  This could put  SEPTA in the driver’s seat, labor expert Jim Redeker told the Metro.

“When either side takes that [threat of strike] off the table…the employer feels they can be a little bit more aggressive,” he told the paper.

The Transport Workers Union Local 234 did not take a strike-authorization vote since negotiations are progressing, president Willie Brown said.

If the workers did strike, regional rail would not be affected, since those crews are covered by a different contract, Philly.com reported.

The union is asking for six percent yearly raises and a $25 per month hike in pension payments per year of service.

But, the two sides are far from reaching agreements on wages, pensions and subcontracting.

SEPTA workers went on strike back in 2005, which lasted seven days.

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