That didn’t last long. As we told you this weekend, President Obama signed an executive order Saturday that forces striking SEPTA Regional Rail engineers and electrical workers back on the job for the next 240 days while an arbitration board attempts to craft a settlement. Which means you have no excuse to miss work this morning.
Workers struck Saturday, but were back on the job Sunday, the walkout so short-lived that most effects of the strike were muted. (Unless you wanted to go somewhere on Saturday.)
Jerri Williams, spokeswoman for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, said all workers scheduled for morning shifts Sunday showed up and some train lines with early starts, such as the Airport Line, were rolling before 5 a.m. A few hours later, the company said on its website that normal operations had resumed.
“Regional Rail is back,” Williams said in an email.
The formation of the board requires the workers to return to work and bars them from striking for up to 240 days while a mediation process plays out. The White House announced the appointment of three arbitrators to the board. “I appreciate that these dedicated individuals have agreed to devote their talent and years of experience working on labor-management disputes to help reach a swift and smooth resolution of this issue,” President Obama said.
Gov. Corbett said: “The people of Philadelphia and the surrounding region expect and deserve a safe and efficient rail system to get them to work, medical appointments, school and recreation.”
Riders who rely on the regional rails for their commute were breathing a sigh of relief Sunday after federal intervention forced the end of a short-lived SEPTA strike. “I think it’s terrific, I mean people rely on the trains” said Emma, who was headed to see her dad for Father’s Day. “It reduces congestion on the roadways and gets people where they need to go.” Ben relies on the train to get to and from Delaware County. He doesn’t own a car, but he knows what kind of impact a strike would’ve had on area roadways. “The traffic would’ve been horrendous,” he said.