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  • Septa Strike

    PHILADELPHIA - November 3, 2009 (WPVI) -- At 3:00 a.m. Tuesday most SEPTA service in Philadelphia came to a grinding halt as the city's largest Transport Workers Union went on strike.

    Transport Workers Union Local 234 announced the strike overnight, assuring a ride home from the ballpark for Phillies fans but stranding thousands who rely on SEPTA for their morning commute.

    There are 920,000 fares for SEPTA transportation bought by commuters every day in Philadelphia. It ranks as the 6th largest in the U.S.

    Regional Rail service will continue to run, but SEPTA is asking for patience from customers as some services become unavailable and others that are running may experience heavier than usual volume.

    Affected by the strike are all City Transit subway, bus and trolley service. Most bus and trolley service in Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware and Chester counties would continue and follow regular schedules.

    SEPTA will keep customers updated on their website, http://www.septa.org. Information is also available through SEPTA Customer Service by calling 215-580-7800.

    TWU Local 234 represents about 5,500 drivers, operators and mechanics. Salaries currently range from $50,000 to $57,000 per year after four years.

    Workers have been without a contract since the spring.

    Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (D), was critical of SEPTA's annoucement to strike.

    "I also think it's irresponsible of the union to go out at 3 o'clock, and not give the riding public the ability to make plans," Rendell told reporters late Monday night . "They'll be waking up... not knowing that there is no public transportation.It's going to be chaos."

    Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (D) said the union just isn't facing reality.

    "I don't know what folks are reading, but we are still in a recession, this is still the worst recession since The Great Depression, and folks need to get with the program. There is no money."

    The leader of the TWU Local 234, Willie Brown, said there could be an agreement on the money if they mayor and the governor would lay their cards on the table.

    "We asked them for numbers, but the governor couldn't make them give us the right numbers. What can I say?" Brown told reporters.

  • #2
    This move was very low for the Septa Union. This morning people got up and found out during the night that Septa went out on strike without any warning.
    You are told that its better for everyone to take public transportation but when something like this happens without any notice its really sticking it to the working person.

    If they felt they weren't being treated fairly and wanted to strike that is their right. However they stranded a lot of people this morning and won't get any sympathy from the public.

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree Bayside this was pathetic for SEPTA to do that. Without any warning. During my run this morning I saw people waiting on corners thinking buses where coming. Companies do NOT care about Septa striking when you apply they ask if you have reliable transportation. You are obligated to find another way, and it is not easy if you don't drive.

      I also heard the contract proposed to the union leaders was a pretty good one. They are just greedy, those drivers are already making 55k a year.

      Comment


      • #4
        Bob Brady even said the union and Septa aren't that far apart on issues so I don't understand the need to strike at 3am. It was a really awful thing for the union leaders to do. Then they aren't even going to meet again until tomorrow. It was really awful to see people that got stuck somewhere at 3,4 in the morning coming home or trying to get to work.

        They wonder why ridership is down???

        Comment


        • #5
          I know that is terrible imagine the people who were working graveyard. Septa is spoiled they are the only city agency that can never be laid off no matter what. They make 25 an hour. I do not see what the big deal is. It's disgusting to see that they continue to inconvenience millions of people just for a couple extra bucks.

          And another thing, no Septa means more traffic and more cars on the road. Traffic was HORRIBLE today. I wanted to just get out the car and jump off the bridge ugh. I hope they get it together soon.

          Comment


          • #6
            They also were offered a no layoff job guarentee contract. That is something very valuable in today's economic times. I don't know what they are holding out for. However there was a better way to do it.
            If they were going to go on strike the union should have done the right thing and given some notice to the public instead of leaving them stuck in the middle of the night. When they didn't strike Saturday no one thought they would strike at this point.

            The union should take some of this stuff off the table if they can. They should take away the no layoff agreement since now that the union left people stranded I bet more riders will refuse to go back to Septa after this stunt.

            Comment


            • #7
              They get a 11 percent salary increase and no increased healthcare payments. Also a 1300 signing bonus for everyone! I can't stand ungrateful people, like most people don't even have a job let alone benefits.

              And the way they went on strike was awful. I am glad I am not a customer of theirs.

              Comment


              • #8
                From what I understand, the TWU didn't pull the strike trigger over the salary and benefits SEPTA put on the table. Rather, rumor* has it that this all came about because the new contract wants to give management more leverage against the seniority system currently used by mechanics for their assignments. Basically as it is now, mechanics with the greatest seniority get first dibs on whatever equipment they want to work on. Management would rather have a system in place that allows management to take into account productivity and merit so they can "reward" good workers with good assignments or put "their best men" on the jobs that really need doing. Labor sees this instead as a tool with which workers can be "punished" by management (i.e. you pee owe the wrong manager you're working in the proverbial "hole" for the next month).

                That doesn't make me any more sympathetic to the strike. This impasse is the sort thing a mediator could easily work out. All you need is to have an assignment system worked by a management/TWU consensus (it's not really that hard). But from what I gather SEPTA management and TWU have a history of bad blood going back to before there was even a SEPTA.

                *by "rumor" I don't mean gossip; but there's a local freelance writer who's a big fan of public transit. I mean it's all he really writes about. Anyway, he's the guy who's come out with this mechanics angle as the cause for the strike, but he's only quoting "sources close to the negotiation." I haven't seen anything in the "official" news outlets reporting this, but I also give this write a lot of credence (he doesn't usually make stuff up).

                I still feel stupid dropping $78 for a November Transpass Halloween night, I even told the guy at the ticket window I felt like I was buying a lottery ticket.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The drivers make much more than the cops.
                  Being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants. It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well with the 11% raise over 5 years, no one knows how it equates to per year. It could be 5-6 for the first 2 years and nothing over the next 3 but apart of the $1250 they want to give them as a signing bonus.

                    Also the pension is way underfunded. Fast Eddie and Busta Nutter lied to the unions face about the pensions.

                    The only reason the ended up striking is because of the pension, seniority and subcontracting issues.
                    I don't answer recruitment messages....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by stormz5192 View Post
                      The drivers make much more than the cops.
                      Without overtime yup they do. But with overtime, I don't think so. I know a patrol cop in Philly who brung in 77k last year with overtime.
                      Last edited by casey4201; 11-04-2009, 03:30 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by orlandofed5-0 View Post
                        The only reason the ended up striking is because of the pension, seniority and subcontracting issues.
                        Right. I heard them on TV saying it really wasn't about money. They were mad the people who's been on the job couldn't pick the jobs they wanted. When younger workers are coming in doing what they are doing. I mean I can understand seniority. I expect to be treated different too if I've been on the job for 20 years. But still I don't agree with the strike.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by casey4201 View Post
                          Without overtime yup they do. But with overtime, I don't think so. I know a patrol cop in Philly who brung in 77k last year with overtime.
                          I think he was refering to the Septa cops?

                          Either way they do make more than philly, but like you said with the overtime philly cops make more....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            He clearly said "The drivers" in his post if you missed that.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by orlandofed5-0 View Post
                              Well with the 11% raise over 5 years, no one knows how it equates to per year. It could be 5-6 for the first 2 years and nothing over the next 3 but apart of the $1250 they want to give them as a signing bonus.

                              Also the pension is way underfunded. Fast Eddie and Busta Nutter lied to the unions face about the pensions.

                              The only reason the ended up striking is because of the pension, seniority and subcontracting issues.

                              I don't have a problem with them striking if they felt they weren't getting what they should be getting. I have a problem that they did it in such a way to say F U to the people that DEPEND on Public Transportation. It wasn't an F U to the city or to Septa, it was an F U to the public to strike without any warning or notice at 3am.
                              If they wanted to shove it to Nutter (or little ceasar as they were calling him) and to Rendell they really didn't. They shoved it up the *** of the working person, the school kids and the people that depend on the Septa system to get around. I believe that was the intention of the union leaders to do that to make this as tough on the public as they could. It wasn't the right thing to do.

                              Comment

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