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SEPTA Workers Not Striking, Yet

By Dan Stamm and Kelly Bayliss
|  Saturday, Mar 15, 2014  |  Updated 2:57 AM EDT
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The union representing SEPTA workers says it will not strike -- for now.

NBC10.com - George Spencer

The union representing SEPTA workers says it will not strike -- for now.

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The Transit Workers Union (TWU) says their members are staying on the job even though their contract with SEPTA has expired. But that may not be so forever.

"We're willing to go the extra mile to reach a fair agreement," TWU Local 234 President Willie Brown said in a press release Friday.

Negotiations stopped on Friday between Transport Workers Union Local 234 and SEPTA but as of the midnight deadline, no deal was in place.

The TWU, SEPTA contract concerns about 4,700 bus drivers, trolley and subway operators and maintenance employees -- nearly half of SEPTA’s total work force.

Contracts for two suburban transit divisions expire next month and should no new contract be agreed upon by then, the possibility of a strike could come back once again.

"We're not willing to sign on to a lengthy contract extension or make hasty decisions having a long-term effect on our members' family finances," officials said.

Should a strike eventually occur, Regional Rail should continue to operate since those operators work under other contracts. CCT, the Norristown High-Speed Line and suburban trolley and bus routes will continue to operate, according to SEPTA.

SEPTA held a news conference Friday morning “to announce that, in the event of a City Transit Division service interruption, alternate service plans have been prepared.”

Part of the contingency plan is that buses that normally go into the city would stop at a suburban train station so that passengers could get onto Regional Rail.

SEPTA plans on having "ambassadors" on hand to help commuters should the strike happen.

Transit union workers last went on strike after the World Series in 2009 -- a work stoppage that lasted six days.

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