Union will not strike after SEPTA contract deadline

    The union representing nearly 5,000 bus, subway, and trolley operators in Philadelphia has informed SEPTA management it will NOT strike after the contract deadline. The two sides are trying to reach a deal before the contract expires Saturday at midnight.

    The union representing nearly 5,000 bus, subway, and trolley operators in Philadelphia has informed SEPTA management it will NOT strike after the contract deadline. The two sides are trying to reach a deal before the contract expires Saturday at midnight. WHYY’s Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

    Transcript:
    Over the past week, Transport Workers Union Local 234 President Willie Brown has repeatedly said he will not call for a strike if his union can’t come to terms with management. Still, SEPTA managers wanted a written commitment the union wouldn’t initiate a work stoppage and now they have one.

    SEPTA Spokesman Richard Maloney says the discussion continues but the two sides are still far apart.

    Maloney: “We’ve been going back and forth for the past several days. I can say that we have not made an agreement on any of the major issues.”

    The union members will continue to work under the terms of the current contract until the two sides strike a deal. A strike in 2005 lasted a week and stranded thousands of commuters.

    Listen:
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    [audio: reports20090312septa.mp3]

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