SEPTA Bus, Trolley & Subway Operators Vote Unanimously to Authorize Strike - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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SEPTA Bus, Trolley & Subway Operators Vote Unanimously to Authorize Strike

Commuters Begin to Worry as Possible SEPTA Strike Looms

A SEPTA strike potentially beginning Nov. 1 would not only make it tough for people to get to work and school -- it could present a challenge for voters heading to their polling places to vote in the presidential election. NBC10's Matt DeLucia talked with some commuters about what they'll face should the transit authority's union workers walk off the job in two weeks. (Published Monday, Oct. 17, 2016)

The union that represents more than 5,700 SEPTA bus drivers, subway and trolley operators voted unanimously Sunday morning to authorize a strike. 

Members of Transport Workers Union Local 234 (TWU 234) met 11 a.m. at the Sheet Metal Workers Union Hall at 1311 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard in Philadelphia to discuss negotiations with SEPTA and vote on whether or not to authorize a strike. In less than an hour, the workers voted to authorize a strike.

The union’s current contract with SEPTA expires at midnight on Oct. 31. That's when, if they do strike, workers would walk off the job. Negotiations with SEPTA began earlier in the year.

Outstanding issues for the union include the need for pension reform, maintaining affordable quality health care and addressing safety and fatigue issues for SEPTA drivers.

SEPTA Union Votes to Authorize Strike

[PHI] SEPTA Union Votes to Authorize Strike
SEPTA's Union that represents thousands of bus, trolley and subway operators in Philadelphia voted to authorize a strike that would begin on November 1 and could last through Election Day. NBC10's Aundrea Cline-Thomas has the details.
(Published Monday, Oct. 17, 2016)

“We’ll get direction from our members on Sunday and proceed from there,” said TWU Local 234 President Willie Brown. “We’re not looking for a day-by-day extension and we’re not interested in working without a contract. We want an agreement that is fair to our members that addresses pension plan inequities between managers and frontline workers, while guaranteeing quality service to our passengers.”

If a strike is authorized, it would not start until Nov. 1 and would shut down SEPTA's bus, subway and trolley services in Philadelphia. SEPTA's Regional Rail service and service in areas outside of Philadelphia would not be affected.

If a deal is not reached, the strike could last through Election Day.

“Oh God, I don’t really know what to say about that one,” said Margaret Foote, a SEPTA rider. “How would people get out and vote?”

NBC10 reached out to SEPTA for comment.

“Taking a strike vote in advance of contract expiration is not out of the ordinary,” a spokesperson for SEPTA wrote. “We remain hopeful as we work to bargain an agreement in the best interest of our employees, riders and the public.”