SEPTA union chief: Workers won’t strike as contract expires

    The head of SEPTA’s largest employees union says workers will not walk off the job Friday night. The transit agency’s contract with TWU Local 234 expires at midnight.

    “Our goal is to get a good contract without disrupting service to the riding public, but at the end of the day SEPTA must be willing to do the same,” union president Willie Brown said in a statement.

    Transit agency officials say there’s a contingency plan to accommodate some passengers on regional rail in case of a partial service interruption.

    “We have no idea whether or not there is going to be a work stoppage,” said SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams. “That is not up to us. That is in the union’s court. And therefore we need to be ready, and we need our customers to also be listening and ready, for anything to happen.”

    The 4,700 members of TWU Local 234 operate and service buses, trolleys and subways within Philadelphia city limits.

    Negotiators also are working on labor agreements for two smaller union locals with contract set to expire in April.

    Brown’s statement said any possible strike would only come after those contracts expire.

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