Philadelphia hit with major transportation strike

    In an unexpected move by union leadership, SEPTA’s bus, trolley, and subway operators working in Philadelphia went out on strike early this morning. Officials from Transport Workers Union Local 234 had been in talks with management for days.

    In an unexpected move by union leadership, SEPTA’s bus, trolley, and subway operators working in Philadelphia went out on strike early this morning. Officials from Transport Workers Union Local 234 had been in talks with management for days.

    The strike has halted all service to the city’s buses, trolleys, or subways. In addition, buses in SEPTA’s Frontier Division, operating in Bucks, Montgomery, and Chester counties, has been shutdown.

    SEPTA Spokesman Richard Maloney says the last minute nature of the strike caught everyone by surprise.

    While SEPTA is on strike the stations remain empty.
    While SEPTA is on strike the stations remain empty.

    Maloney: We think it was just irresponsible for them to say at midnight that they’re going out at 3:00 am, leaving almost all of our ridership completely in the lurch this morning. People waking up, getting ready to go to work, taking their regular ride, all of a sudden, they arrive at the bus stop to realize the strike was on.

    Maloney says SEPTA management has offered the union a five year deal with yearly raises totaling 11.5% by the end of the contract. Under the proposal, the union would not be required to increase health care contributions.

    SEPTA’s regional rail lines are still running, as conductors on the trains are members of a separate union.

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