Enjoy the ride on SEPTA today because it’s possible you won’t be able to make the ride tomorrow.
SEPTA’s contract with city transit union workers runs out at midnight meaning that SEPTA workers could walk off the job Saturday leaving Philadelphia without bus, trolley or subway service.
Negotiations continued Friday between the Transport Workers Union Local 234 and SEPTA but as of Friday morning no deal was in place.
Should those talks break off, about 4,700 TWU bus drivers, trolley and subway operators and maintenance employees — nearly half of SEPTA’s total work force — could strike. A strike-authorization vote however hasn’t been held and it’s possible that city workers won’t walk off the job as their suburban co-workers remain under contract.
Contracts for the suburban transit divisions expire next month.
Should a strike occur, Regional Rail should continue to operate since those operators work under other contracts.
Transit union workers last went on strike after the World Series in 2009 — a work stoppage that lasted six days.
TWU Local 234 president Willie Brown hasn’t made public comment about the potential for a strike but he did send a memo to members that read “if negotiations fail the unions representing SEPTA workers may all be on strike at the same time, idling bus, trolley, train and regional rail service for the first time ever,” according to Philadelphia Magazine.
SEPTA plans on holding a news conference Friday morning at 11 a.m. “to announce that, in the event of a City Transit Division service interruption, alternate service plans have been prepared.”
SEPTA said that representatives won’t, however, talk about contract negotiations.