Dear SEPTA Union: This Is Your Last Stop

TWU Local 234 threatens to destroy what could be a world-class public transit system.

An employee of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority raises his fist in the air, Friday, Oct. 28, 2005, while entering a SEPTA bus depot in north Philadelphia. | AP Photo, Joseph Kaczmarek

An employee of SEPTA raises his fist in the air, Friday, Oct. 28, 2005, while entering a bus depot in north Philadelphia. | AP Photo, Joseph Kaczmarek

So, like my occasional flare-ups of hemorrhoids, I see the Transport Workers of America Local 234 has reared its ugly butt once again. Anyone who lives in Philadelphia for a given length of time will eventually encounter the major inconvenience of a transit strike. These things happen with regular frequency, like the Olympics. It disrupts the city, throws hundreds of thousands of commuters into chaos, and it’s accepted as a fact of life. In fact, TWU234 is the most strikiest union there is in Philadelphia.




Who could forget the transit strike of 2009, when TWU234 president Willie Brown authorized a strike to keep transit worker healthcare contributions locked-in at 1 percent? Like the current threat Willie Brown is making, TWU made its walk-out threat right as its contract with SEPTA approached expiration, then later walked out.

Then there was the Great SEPTA Strike of 2005 when none of the City Transit Division workers at SEPTA were paying anything towards their healthcare premiums and SEPTA was asking for 5 percent contributions. While lasting only 7 days, it hit in November during crappy weather. The “1 percent” contract was later signed ending the strike. Obviously TWU would prefer workers contribute little to nothing and won’t give an inch on a worker benefit that almost everyone else in the universe contributes more out of their pay packets toward. TWU workers don’t pay nearly the kind of premiums that you’d find at Healthcare.gov.

During the 2005 strike, then-governor Ed Rendell weighed in and said the TWU strike was putting dedicated state funding for SEPTA at risk. Most people poo-poo’d or ignored his statements at the time, but last year when the PA House of Representatives was wringing its hands over raising the state gas tax cap to help fund transportation in the Commonwealth, the words from Tea Party people living in the state's "T" couldn’t have been more clearer: fuck SEPTA. State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe of Butler County said it plainly: SEPTA is "just [more] welfare."

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, low-wage workers pay premiums that can be as high as 39 percent of workers' gross salaries. TWU234 would be happy to see you walk miles in the snow forever if it meant a 5 percent or even a 3.5 percent contribution to worker pay.

Do you think TWU234 cares what happens when they walk off the job? The SEPTA railroad division union walked off the job and all the other SEPTA unions joined in sympathy in a 108-day strike in 1983. It took a full decade for ridership to fully recover.

This is the funnier bit: TWU234 would like the public to believe that SEPTA is some evil megacorporation with a tycoon in a top office of 1234 Market stroking a white cat. SEPTA is a state-chartered agency that was engineered in the 1960s to absorb all of the failed private rail transportation companies that used to exist around Philadelphia. While SEPTA collects a lot more in fares than most other transit systems in the United States, SEPTA gets about 40 percent of its funding for operating expenses from the fare box. The rest of it comes from Harrisburg and from federal transportation grants and programs.

During the 2005 strike and certainly during the 2009 strike you could hear a pin-drop from the commuting public when looking for sympathy and solidarity with strikers. Nobody believed the TWU bullshit from the last two strikes, so what makes Willie Brown think there will be any public sympathy this time around?

Everyone who lives and pays taxes in PA pays for SEPTA. SEPTA riders pay even more. For some smaller items, every taxpayer in America contributes to SEPTA in their own little way.

And it is no coinkidink after legislators worked very hard to get the transportation funding bill passed in Harrisburg last year over screams and howls from the Tea Party Republicans, that TWU234 smells blood in the water and is getting the picket signs ready in hopes a good chunk of the extra transit funding SEPTA is poised to get will be sucked away into benefits and little of what’s left will go to any of the major infrastructure improvements SEPTA needs to carry out. As long as Willie Brown runs TWU234, expect a transit strike after every union contract expiration.

In fact, SEPTA should just post its union contract expiration dates on all SEPTA schedules so riders know way ahead of time when transit probably won’t be available.

Christopher Sawyer is the foul-mouthed anti-blight blogger at philadelinquency.com, an avid (and sometimes livid) SEPTA customer and Transpass holder.

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  • Willie

    If youse like your helfcare, youse can keep your helfcare. PERIOD!

  • Chilly Brown

    I would give up SEPTA for lent, but I already don’t use it.

  • DTurner

    If this happens, the City, state, and press need to throw TWU into the fire; I am sure there are plenty of bus and train operators in Kiev right now who would love to have their jobs and letting this strike go through will kill our region’s economy.

    • No Name Needed

      First of all cocksucker, I work for Septa.If you worked there you would put up a fight for what you wanted to, so don’t talk that bullshit.As for replacing us most of the people that apply can’t pass the fucking test. You’re probably one of them

      • DTurner

        Can we have you name & ID? I’m sure SEPTA management would love to know that you’re calling customers names.

        Also, where I (and most other Philadelphians work), you will be fired if you do not show up to work. Why should SEPTA workers be any different?

        • drjimcooper

          Unionize your workplace. Demand a fare share of the profits for your labor. Attack the owners, not fellow workers. It baffles me that people find this so difficult to understand. It’s your BOSSES who are the enemy who have extracted more and more efficiency and passed on less and less of the profits over the last 30 years. It’s not a mystery that inflation-adjusted wages of stagnated along with the decline in union membership.

          • Just saying

            Why do you want to work for your enemy? This is the land of opportunity, if you don’t like what you have look for better.

          • drjimcooper

            Well until we socialize the means of production, there is little choice in the matter. In the meantime, labor should fight for its fair share of profits.

            As far as the land of opportunity myth, it’s total nonsense.

            Rich parents beget rich children. We have some of the worst social mobility in the entire developed world.

            http://www.demos.org/blog/1/23/14/brand-new-social-mobility-data-3-charts

      • Chilly Brown

        You must be with the Complainers Union.

      • Dpark

        I’m not sure Septa would want their employees saying “First of all cocksucker, I work for Septa” anywhere..

      • medford_resident

        work or be fired.

      • Northeaster

        Trust me, not many people here are trying to get jobs at SEPTA.

      • Ambrose Milner

        D turner is a TOOL BAG , who like many jealous vermin that write idiotic articles, taking pointless jabs at our unions who tirelessly seek a contract for us that work at SEPTA. since the regard fails to note the many septa employees that are shot, stabbed and spit on, I will hold my profanity for the hope that the idiots finally get a CLUE!

        • matthew brandley

          the guy who wrote the article has a clue. you walk you screw your selves and the riders for years. its taken decades to get the system to where its at, now you assclowns want to eff it up over greed? more and more is all you want and we already pay some of the highest fares in the damn coun try! about time you clowns started to give back!

          • Ambrose Milner

            Get a clue matt. Come work for septa. See what we go through and then decide if we are union scum as you say

          • matthew brandley

            I have the utmost respect for what you have done working with mgmt in installing the responsability programs in the rebuilding of the el parts , motors ect at 69 th st shops. you do a better job than the mfg could ever do. I have been on a behind the scenes tour this past june of the comm center and opps center. I have the utmost respect. What I lose respect for is your pathetic greeed and selfishness when it comes to your damn strikes every 3 or 4 years. willie brown is a piece of trash. its not my fault you asses cant live within your means. not our damn problem! we are barely making it out here with tens of thousands getting laid off every month and you asses want more and more? when does your union selfishness ever end with you dicks?

          • Ambrose Milner

            Matt, your rant ghost aunts willie brown has nothing to do with me or my coworkers that are on the front line. I am a worker that does my job very professionally, I don’t snipe at my passengers or engage them negative. And my depot is under UTU union. Now called SMART. trust me we don’t want a strike. Can’t afford it. But we cannot afford to allow what down town is attempting to do as well.

          • DTurner

            I do agree with that, SEPTA employees, by and large, are the most respectful and professional transit employees I have seen that don’t speak German. Of course, I’m comparing them to the employees at WMATA, who are slovenly dressed and consistently rude to customers.

            I think changes need to be made, like moving towards benefits programs that are more in line with the private sector, but I think that should be for new hires, not current SEPTA employees. SEPTA is in the middle of hiring a new generation of employees, so it is time for some radical changes.

          • thegreengrass

            What if it were a co-op? So employees were part owners and felt responsibility for the well-being of the company? Is that possible? I feel like that would be the exact opposite of what we’ve got now.

          • http://blog.philadelphiarealestate.com/ Sandy Smith

            SEPTA is a public agency, not a private company. Quasi-governmental bodies can’t be organized as co-ops.

          • thegreengrass

            Aw, boo.

          • bbqshot

            They wouldn’t want a co-op anyway. Then they would have no one to extract money from when they are losing money. They could only get paid what they deserved. That doesn’t work for union scum.

        • DTurner

          Again, many folks have very tough and dangerous jobs, what makes SEPTA workers so special? I respect that you want to fight for what you have, but striking only hurts riders and the city’s economy. As Chris notes, the past few strikes have done little to actually improve your union’s bargaining position.

          • Ambrose Milner

            D turner, on a serious note, not debating you, I agree with your point on the fact that striking hurts all people. And being truthful many of my fellow coworkers don’t want a work stoppage. But we cannot allow them to take away our health coverage, our retirement fund etc….

          • DTurner

            I should be clear as well, I can respect that TWU workers want to maintain their benefits, I just think that a strike is likely to put the union in a worse bargaining position with SEPTA management by angering the public and politicians. Willie Brown might be loud, but he is not a strong negotiator, and the TWU is losing ground in credibility by continuing to rely on him, rather than a more conciliatory individual.

          • drjimcooper

            Being conciliatory toward management has NEVER in history helped workers. Management will always extract more efficiency, and then line their own pockets with the profits. Unions provide a necessary counterbalance to this. Unionize your own workplace. Demand your fair share of your company’s profits.

          • bbqshot

            Tell that to the Hostess people. The former Hostess people.

          • drjimcooper

            So the fact that management can file Chapter 11, screw over workers, and then go back into business is somehow evidence that it is the Union who is corrupt? You have a strange unrequited love affair with rich people- who I assure you have absolutely zero positive feelings about you.

          • bbqshot

            They were already in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The union went on strike anyway. The union was told they would not survive unless they returned to work. They chose not to. So the company went into Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy. They sold off the name only. They never went back into business. Now the former workers can work at Walmart and the retirees are getting 25 cents on the dollar on their pensions. Way to go, union.

          • Jeffrey Tull

            Profit? SEPTA is not a ‘for profit’ venture. SEPTA is not a company. It’s a State run agency. That being said; just who’s really trying to line their pockets? Some evil corporate overlords? The money that DOESN’T go to the TWU in benefits goes into things like infrastructure, repair and upkeep. It goes towards keeping fares at current rates; which benefit all the masses. Not being conciliatory towards management is simple greed on the part of the TWU, not some noble quest to stand up for workers rights. They’re a band of greedy ass-hats trying to line their own pockets.

          • http://blog.philadelphiarealestate.com/ Sandy Smith

            I hadn’t heard that SEPTA was “taking away” those things, just asking you all to pick up more of the cost of providing them. As I said in another thread on this subject, I’d love to have fringe benefits of any kind, and I do work for a salary. Does it suck to pay more for benefits? Undoubtedly. But most of the rest of us who have them have been doing so for a while now. That’s why the arguments for keeping your current contributions have generally been getting little sympathy hereabouts.

            Show me where SEPTA has a huge surplus of funds sitting somewhere and I would reconsider my position. I haven’t seen evidence of any such pot of money sitting around yet. That new funding from Harrisburg (note: NOT us riders, but rather us taxpayers) is supposed to go for the maintenance the agency put off so it could run service with less funding coming in.

          • That Guy

            shouldn’t the question you be asking…is why your employer doesn’t care enough about Your health and welfare?

          • DTurner

            Because they run a business and not a charity. I get very good healthcare, but I also pay high premiums, that’s the trade off you make.

        • Ken Hamilton

          Again, can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen, find a new job without the stresses of dealing with the public

          • Ambrose Milner

            Oh I handle the heat very well. I invite you to join it. Apply and see through our eyes.

      • matthew brandley

        wow . a piece of crap resorting to swearing typical piece of union trash when called out with the facts huh? so sad that union scum bags like you have to work for septa and make the hard working people of the city feel so miserable. tell you what buddy. why dont you just crawl right up fat ass willie browns ass and make your self right at home. seems all you want to do is screw every hard working person who depends on the system over. the man who wrote this oped laid out all the facts and as usaul you being a obama voter loser whos entiled to everything for nothing gets all nasty when confronted with the facts. so easy to tick off a libturd isnt it

      • Mtar

        Quick question: why can’t we trust you to make change in a station for the Market-Frankford line?

      • rocuall

        Typical rude septa emplyee

        • Ken Hamilton

          And a coward for not showing his face!

      • JohnC44

        You and TWU 234 are an embarrassment to all union labor. Your tactics literally endanger the entire regional population, destroy our local economy, and make this city a laughing stock for every fascist conservative pundit across the nation. Your quasi extortionist “grievances” are utterly ridiculous and nothing more than a callous spit in the face to every person who works in the real world…e.g your customers. I not only do not sympathize with you all…I despise every one of you.

        You have no ”right” to demand yet more state funds to sustain your bloated benefits, ridiculous salaries, and culture of waste and non-productivity.

        I sincerely hope you’re all fired…no severance, no benefits, just thrown out on your lazy asses. You deserve nothing less for making a joke out of our city and labor as a whole. Since you don’t care about this city or its population, at least you won’t further damage labor’s reputation by association. Most other unions are great. TWU is good for only one thing…extortion at all costs.

    • jubeee

      So is this one of the rare occasions you want immigrants to “took our jerbs?”

      • DTurner

        Rare occasions? I don’t think I have made any noises to the contrary.

        • jubeee

          I am assuming you are an angry conservative and that you hate immigrants, so I am confused.

          I don’t want them to strike because RR is the only way I can make it to Doylestown every day to work but I certainly don’t think giving their jobs to Ukrainians makes sense either. I bet there is a 3rd way that would make everyone happy.

          • DTurner

            I’m sorry to disappoint you.

            I actually just believe that Philadelphia’s services should not be held hostage be public employees who clearly need to be paying more into the healthcare and retirement programs that they benefit from; I’m surprised that puts me into the “angry conservative” category.

            I’m sure that there is a 3rd way here, but Willie Brown has clearly shown in the past that negotiation is not his strong suit; he will instead engage in brinkmanship, hurting the region’s reputation and growth and gaining little for the TWU.

          • Ken Hamilton

            The Union needs to STFU and accept the FACT that EVERYONE is paying more for HC, pampered little fucks!

  • medford_resident

    If they strike, fire them. Hire people who actually WANT to work. The End.

    • drjimcooper

      Yes surely, we must do more to appease our corporate overlords and give into the demands of the 1%! This will end well for all workers!

      • medford_resident

        You suck at the teat of the 1%, it’s only natural to give into their demands as well. It’s what lemmings do

        • drjimcooper

          Was this supposed to be an argument? To be clear: attacking workers who would dare to demand more (as you are doing) is bowing down to the 1%.

          My original response to you was sardonic.

  • whatever

    “world-class public transit system…” this is from the onion, right?

    • DTurner

      “what could be a world-class public transit system”

      • http://blog.philadelphiarealestate.com/ Sandy Smith

        Repeating what I wrote on Phillymag a little while back:

        “…why the American Public Transportation Association named SEPTA its Best Large Transit System for 2012, an award that has some SEPTA critics scratching their heads.”

        I’ve managed to get a few of my more skeptical friends to understand why I believe SEPTA – and its employees – deserved that award. Our transit service here is better, and better run, than many crack it down to be. If you don’t believe me, you might want to move to a city like the one I grew up in and try living car-free in it. I’ve done that since moving here 30 years ago – and I don’t live in Center City, either.

        • DTurner

          Dude, believe me, I rode the DC Metro Red Line for years, I know how good SEPTA is vis a vis other systems. Still room for improvement, but the basic service is pretty good and reliable.

  • BodizzlePA

    It just seems like they’re striking every two years, fares keep going up, buses keep running red lights, drivers keep texting on phones, all while not paying a cent for health care. How about providing a better service for what we’re already paying, and THEN striking?

  • NoOneShouldHaveToTolerateSEPTA

    After 20 long years living in Philly and riding SEPTA every day, I’ve found the attitude of most TWU234 members is “fuck the riders, fuck SEPTA, this is all about me”. I agree with so many others. Fire them all and start over. What foes TWU mean? To me it’s Terribly Worthless Urbanites.

    • Ambrose Milner

      That’s not my attitude. I look at myself as a professional transit operator. It’s because of the riding public we have this job. I will agree that some of my fellow coworkers do act and behave this way, and it’s a few.

  • Ryan D

    Since Septa is an organization that serves the public interest, they should fall under the same category of police and fire. It should be against the law for them to strike. In many major cities in the US, if the public transit workers go on strike, they are fined 1.5 – 2 times their daily pay for each day they strike. I am sure they would be open to negotiate if they knew they were losing double the money by not working.

    • dave

      We are not federal government employees

  • thethetk

    What a bunch tendentious piffle. It’s bad for them to strike because Metcalfe is the dick that he is? Would Metcalfe be a great champion of public transit if SEPTA workers made give-backs? They’re being asked to take a pay cut (contributing more to healthcare is a functional pay cut), and they don’t want to. Almost nothing in this piece has anything to do with the actual issue at hand. Is there meant to be an argument here?

    • matthew brandley

      everyone is paying more for h c why cant they? wtf makes these union douche bags above all else?

    • http://www.philadelinquency.com Christopher Sawyer

      I don’t believe anyone’s actually looked to see if the worker healthcare plan at SEPTA is a “Cadillac-plan”, but if it is–it’s only temporarily exempted from the extra charges against those plans in the Affordable Care Act. If that type of health plan would to be preserved as-is, SEPTA would feel pressure to revert this charge off to all the workers, who would immediately threaten to strike, leaving SEPTA to do what it has always done after it’s collapsed after a contract-negotiation session: raise fares. After the 2009 strike ended, SEPTA responded with fare hikes, which hit low-income non-subsidized transit riders the hardest. Given all the safety and upgrade projects SEPTA needs to do to maintain its system, and that’s what the transportation bill last year was specifically designed to do for SEPTA as a long-term funding solution, to have a big chunk of this funding stripped away to claw back the worker contributions or for double-digit salary hikes is obscene. I would rather see SEPTA just respond immediately with “OK, we give in. Cash fares will now be $3.00 Don’t like it? Complain to Harrisburg.” At least the transit system won’t be on strike. Workers who don’t have the benes of SEPTA employees will foot the increase. I can easily afford $3 fares and my Transpass jacked up to $120 a month, but can a single-mom working two jobs barely making ends meet whose only healthcare options are from Healthcare.gov?

      • thethetk

        That last part is called “concern trolling,” right? Did SEPTA ever
        directly link the fare hike to the strike / worker demands? Are you
        saying that all inflation should be absorbed by transit workers? You’re entire argument is based on the un-proven premise that worker pay/benefits and fares are roughly zero sum. Do you want to, you know, at least argue that?

        • http://www.philadelinquency.com Christopher Sawyer

          Nope. What I’m saying is that it’s no surprise that SEPTA after a decade-plus long fight finally gets a permanent capital injection so it can finally start working on its hefty backlog of maintenance projects and it just so happens TWU probably sees this as a wonderful opportunity to suck all of that up, and SEPTA goes back to square one because TWU will strike, and it will eventually win. What I suggested with the last part is don’t even bother to try to dance with Willie Brown, just say “OK, you get whatever you want!” and ink a deal to avoid a strike. Then, calculate how much Willie’s ask will cost SEPTA transit riders if fares were adjusted to pay for it all, and pull the trigger. Leave the capital injections from the state taxpayers allocated to making sure our trains won’t derail and trains don’t break down. You ARE familiar with what bad spending practices do to transit systems, RIGHT? (See: http://articles.philly.com/2014-02-17/news/47382313_1_patco-station-track-work-delaware-river-port-authority)

          • http://blog.philadelphiarealestate.com/ Sandy Smith

            Actually, the fight lasted for about half a decade. The previous funding mechanism broke down during the next-to-last year of Gov. Rendell’s second term when it finally became clear that the state’s plan to make I-80 users pay for the statewide transportation program would never get past the Feds, even after they tried to do that three times.

            We’ve spent almost all of Gov. Corbett’s term in office trying to fix that, and let’s note that it didn’t get fixed until the year before he’s up for re-election.

          • thethetk

            ” it’s no surprise that SEPTA after a decade-plus long fight finally gets a permanent capital injection so it can finally start working on its hefty backlog of maintenance projects and it just so happens TWU probably sees this as a wonderful opportunity to suck all of that up”

            Except that their contract expires in a month, and this publication reported, “The main sticking points are cuts that SEPTA wants to make to workers’ pension plans and retiree health insurance coverage, and the proposed elimination of two paid holidays,” which means they are asking for the status quo (and will likely give some of that up). And I’m still not convinced by your worker benefits vs. rider fares zero sum game.

  • NateFried

    You know… I wanna yell at Septa Unions as much as the next guy, but what else are they to do? Of course they are going to fight for what they want. The last strike, from what I remember, was awful though. While the entire country was seeing stagnating wages or even reduced wages, I think they were looking for something like a 19% yearly raise or something crazy like that! Still… Septa unions have SO MUCH power to destroy Philly economy, and if I were in their shoes… its unfortunately… but I would fight as hard as possible to ensure fair wages. But thats the thing… whether they want something fair or something CRAZY like in 2009.

    • Happy

      We need state legislation to outlaw strikes of mass transit workers

      • NateFried

        hmmm…. that is a really good idea. I mean… police officers cant go on strike. Firefighters can’t. Public transportation is a public service and gets people, especially and often lower income people to their jobs.

        • DTurner

          My understanding is the RR workers (or certain types of RR workers) cannot actually strike due to federal laws, but I’m not 100% sure about that.

      • Ambrose Milner

        They have that in NYC called the Taylor law……..and last I checked…nymta has been working without a contract for THREE YEARS AND COUNTING.

  • Flush them down the SEPT-ic

    Completely agreed. The lazy, rude, incompetent, and self important workers of the worst transit “organization” in America aren’t worth the affirmative action initiatives that got them there. I’m a unionized airlines worker, you want to see real strife, come fly the friendly skies. Until then, get your ass back to work.

    • http://blog.philadelphiarealestate.com/ Sandy Smith

      Thank you for your erudite, informed and knowledgeable comment. Let me know if you ever actually ride a SEPTA vehicle. Judging from this, I’d say you never have.

      • Flush them down the SEPT-ic

        Unfortunately Sandy, I ride on the daily. The 17 to SS and the R1 to the airport. Daily. Ya know, working for an airline? So yea. I take SEPTA and am subjected to its trash, repeatedly.

  • matthew brandley

    amen brother!

  • Kat

    If you are a SEPTA worker and you go on strike you truly are a Piece of SHIT.
    Yeah, your job is hard, but it is your god-damned job! You knew what you were being hired for! It shouldn’t be a surprise!
    When
    SEPTA workers decide to have a temper-tantrum and not work you are
    fucking over thousands of other people and fucking with their jobs!
    That is just fucked up.
    You can’t just have a hissy-fit and leave thousands of people without a way to get to work.
    You have to be a truly fucked up person to be that SELFISH.

  • workingclass

    I support the workers if they go on strike! An injury to one is an injury to all!

  • drjimcooper

    “Obviously TWU would prefer workers contribute little to nothing and won’t give an inch on a worker benefit that almost everyone else in the universe contributes more out of their pay packets toward”

    This is an argument in favor of all workers being unionized so that they can demand a larger share of corporate profits. Instead of being resentful of workers who are willing to use their collective bargaining to demand more, get out there and unionize your own workplace.

  • jmcco5

    Just to make a correction: During the 108 day strike of 1983, only the 15 Regional Rail division Unions that came with the Conrail takeover went on strike. The City, TWU 234, and Suburban divisions, UTU Locals, did not strike at that time. This was to cause stress later between the Unions. (Different locals of TWU and the UTU were involved in the Rail strike of about 1500 folks.)
    The 5000 or so City folks signed a new contract just as the strike started, and kept working.

  • thegreengrass

    Or, SEPTA could be allowed to use the money it just won to improve itself, keep gaining riders, take in more money, and make everyone happy. If a strike hurts the resurgence of transit ridership in this city, that will hurt SEPTA, their workers, and the city as a whole more then Willie Brown could ever give a shit.

  • Jim

    They should just replace all those workers. SEPTA is a poor excuse of a Public Transit system. The state also needs to look into the BS of a “no layoff” provision nonsense. Not paying their fair share in benefits in this day and age is outrageous too.

  • noname

    Well this strike could be in the like the in 1983(born in 1992) because the contracts in the other divisions is gonna expire soon

  • KWH

    “Artic Splash” is just pissed that he’ll have to ride a bike to his useless, over paid, hippster jobs now……LOL…….What’s a matter Chris, that GIANT $300K house is Kengsington getting lonely with just you and the Dog in it?????

  • evankev

    I work for SEPTA, and live within my means and cannot afford a strike. Being on the inside I see a lot of waste and mismanagement that should be unlawful. Being a publicly owned company, why isn’t SEPTA management willing to give up what they want us to give up? How come SEPTA doesn’t offer us paid sick days? I was in bed last week for 3 days with no pay. If I were a manager or A payroll I would get paid from day 1 until I returned to work. You have to be to work at 7am? Well I have to get up at 3am to get you there. I leave home 4am and do not return home until 530 or 6pm. and I am not paid for all that time. Not to mention the abuse and threats everyday. Also trying to maintain an unrealistic schedule. I believe we deserve everything we earn wages and benefits.

  • evankev

    In 2012 SEPTA was voted the number 1 transit agency in our country. You think management did that by themselves? I believe we are a world class transit system!

  • Employee

    Oh well… how many of you had to miss for more than 15years in a row Christmas with the family, New years celebrations, Thanksgiving dinners, family andfriends birthdays parties, working around the clock 24/7 exposed to the weather, working double shift during snow storms, and yet put up with the lowest of the lowest people who ride in our system, exposed to being attacked by anyone who is not content with SEPTA service, as if the operator is at fault. Exposed to physical and verbal aggressions from the many low life that rides for free. Even exposed of being shot. If the benefit is not there, what makes you people think we would want to work there? ?? We gave up substantial wage increase over the years in exchange for a good health plan and OK pension. Now we have to give up just because every one else don’t have??? SEPTA is hiring drivers and custodians to work all night long in the cold and under hot weather. Do you wanna apply for a job? ?? You are welcome. .

    • OliveJustine

      I’ve never had a job where I had off on holidays. I never had a job where I received benefits, or pension or any of the like. I’ve been exposed to threats of violence, actual violence, drunks, morons, racists, sexists, etc. Guess what I did when those jobs got to be too much? I LEFT!! If Septa operators don’t like their jobs, no one is forcing them to stay. There would be plenty of people waiting in the wings (myself included, yes I have applied to Septa) to take their position. They need to be grateful for what the have been leeching from the public for decades, bleeding this city dry. It’s a disgusting disgrace how much they charge and for the shitty service. Most Septa operators are bums. They are often too late, too early, going down the wrong route, running people over, running right past people, berating passengers and being all around dicks. Because they can. I know how crap it is to work with the public. I know it can suck and I understand how hard it can be, but I never take how I feel out on customers who didn’t do anything wrong. I certainly don’t punish them for things my bosses do. It’s awful and I honest to god hate Septa and and the people who work there with a passion.

    • Richard Rabinowitz

      on second thought… why not just robotize the commuter trains?

  • Employee

    Before you criticize our Union, apply for SEPTA as operator or maintenance. Haters.

    • OliveJustine

      Before you defend your union, try being a rider who has to go to work during a public transit strike. Moron.

      (I hope you all get fired.)

  • Nat

    I pay about a third of the cost of my insurance and have a professional job that requires a masters degree. (I also know that the people taking my tokens on the MFL make as much as I do and I am expected to be pleasent and professional with the customers I work with). I dont understand why the union would threaten to strike and piss off riders and shut down the city over a difference of a few percentage points. I get a 1-2% raise if I am lucky each year and in 2009 TWU wanted an 11% raise and 11% increase in pension contributions? No one else is getting these kinds of increases! It is ridiculous to even ask for it. Safety is important for drivers. I think focusing on that would get support and is reasonable. If I was in the TWU I would get rid of Brown. He is not helping your cause by talking about striking as negotiations are still happening. I wonder how great our city could be if it wasn’t in a strangle hold from unions (who started to achieve safe and fair work conditions not what they are doing now)

  • will moore

    Septa is trying to take away pensions from people who are close to retirement, and increase co – pays. If people complaining on here actually had a job that required contract negotiations or required skills to obtain a job like this they would understand. You are not in the shoes of the worker that is getting screwed over, I have many family in Septa and a lot of things they do is just not right, and if you are in the position of them you would also complain, because you have a family to support. People on here fall into the scape goat of I work why should they strike for things i cant get? Well thats your fault, stand up for yourself. This is America and currently many American’s are getting taken advantage of in the work place. Time to wake up and educate yourself.

    • OliveJustine

      Fuck Septa. Fuck your family. And fuck you. I get so sick of people like you who don’t give a shit about those around you. God forbid that these Septa morons had to pay more than 1 fucking % of their health care… hmmm, what’s that like anyway? I work making barely above minimum wage, so I can’t afford even Obamacare, and because PA has not expanded it’s Medicare I have NO health insurance. I go to school (out of my own pocket), pay my own bills, rent and food, oh and I pay Septa almost $100 a month to be able to do all those things. And these lazy assholes want to whine, then turn around and bleed me dry? Maybe we would have jobs that require negotiations and give pensions if some of us could make it through school without worrying about the public transit going out. If I had my way, Septa would be done away with altogether, and PA would institute a whole new system of public transit. Like I said, fuck septa.

      • will moore

        Welcome to the real world. I go to school, work, and also take septa. Septa Makes money see the thing about your whole paragraph is ignorance In the same paragraph you talk about being in school and medicare… Medicare is only for people 65 older and social security. The drivers dont make you pay $100 a month to ride the bus thats the company. Trust me its more then 1% before i can point everything out wrong with your argument but please do research before you open your mouth with foul language your IQ is showing and its not high at all. Also being in school and making minimum wage? Have you tried a school work program? That sad if you can only get minimum wage and attend school. Most school offer programs paying 10-14 a hour or offer externships.

  • PrivateSector1

    If these dirt bags go on strike, the state should withhold their funds and instead use them to form a private operator to get us to work and back. Then the union idiots can go find work elsewhere. Maybe driving a cab.

  • Not a white Supremacist

    Wow. No effort to do actual research.