SEPTA, TWU Reach Agreement; Strike Ends

Buses, subways and trolleys will roll again starting this morning

Buses, subways and trolleys will roll again starting this morning as the six-day SEPTA City Transit Division strike has ended. | Photo by Flickr user Perry Quan

SEPTA and Transport Workers Union Local 234 have reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract, bringing a six-day city transit strike to an end.

SEPTA Board Chair Pat Deon announced the agreement at 5:15 this morning. Read more »

SEPTA Asks Court to End Strike

CLOSED STATION sign during SEPTA strike

The entrance to the City Hall and 15th Street stations in downtown Philadelphia is closed during the SEPTA strike | Photo: Dan McQuade

SEPTA is trying to resolve the transit union strike by turning to the courts, but struck out in its first attempt at convincing a judge to force workers to go back on the job.

Calling the strike “a clear and present danger to the health, safety and welfare of our riders and the citizens of Philadelphia and the region,” SEPTA filed an injunction Fridays afternoon, seeking an immediate halt to the strike by Transit Workers Union Local 234. Read more »

SEPTA Strike, Day 4: What Now?

SEPTA commuters in long lines at Suburban

SEPTA commuters wait in line at Suburban Station during rush hour. | Photo by Dan McQuade

The good news is that the week is almost over. Most likely all that’s left in your week of hellish commutes is one more trip home and then you’re done for two days. Or maybe you don’t have a Monday-Friday work schedule. Your commutes over the next two days should still be much better than they’ve been this week. It’s Friday. Exhale.

There’s more good news, too. SEPTA and Transit Workers Union Local 234 traded barbs over the past 36 hours, which means they’ve gotten that out of their system. The two sides have been negotiating again.

But the rest of it is bad news. Read more »

SEPTA, Union Pointing Fingers at One Another Over Contract Impasse

Transit Workers Union Local 234 Headquarters

Photo | Dan McQuade

We’ve apparently entered the point of the SEPTA strike where the sides fight with each other in press releases to the media. Dutifully, we bring you these remarks.

On Wednesday night, SEPTA sent out a release titled “SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Calls for TWU Local 234 to Engage in Good Faith Negotiations.” In the statement, Deon said the union was unfairly hurting the citizens of Philadelphia: “A strike should be an option of last resort – and once you go out, there needs to be added urgency to reach an agreement and get back to work. On several occasions this week, SEPTA negotiators believed progress toward a deal had been made. However, at each of those seemingly positive turns, TWU Local 234 has brought a halt to negotiations.”

Deon said SEPTA had been bargaining in good faith and adopted an entirely new pension plan at the request of Transit Workers Union Local 234. He said SEPTA offered to remove current compensation cap on pensions and enhance benefits by 8 percent. Deon also said SEPTA also offered wage increases, “modest” health care changes — in five years, the cost of the “Cadillac” health care plan would go from $10 a week to $41 — and responded to operational concerns SEPTA workers had.

The union, as you might’ve guessed, has a different opinion. Read more »

SEPTA Strike, Day 3: Negotiations and Commuting Chaos Continue

'Station Closed' sign at SEPTA El stop, man smoking in background

The entrance to the Market-Frankford Line and the underground concourse at 12th Street is closed on the first day of the SEPTA strike | Photo: Dan McQuade

Three days have passed since close to 5,000 unionized SEPTA workers walked off the job, halting all of the city’s public transportation save for Regional Rail, which is feeling the brunt of trying to mitigate the effects of the strike. Read more »

SEPTA: “Significant Number” of Trains Canceled Tonight

Photo: Dan McQuade

Photo: Dan McQuade

Update, 6pm: SEPTA received an injunction from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas early this evening to prevent picketers from blocking access to Regional Rail sites. “SEPTA hopes this will ensure that incidents like those that disrupted service today will not happen again,” authority spokeswoman Carla Showell-Lee said in a release.

Earlier: Your evening commute just got worse.

SEPTA reports that due to striking Transport Workers Union members picketing “several” of its rail yards, dozens of trains for tonight’s evening rush hour are being canceled. Trains that do run could have delays of up to 45 minutes. Read more »

SEPTA Workers in the City Are on Strike

Station Closed sign at Spruce Street entrance

The gate to the underground concourse at Spruce Street shows a sign put on in advance of the SEPTA strike | Photo: Dan McQuade

As threatened, SEPTA workers in the city walked off the job at midnight. City buses, the Broad Street Subway, the Market-Frankford El, West Philly and Route 15 trolleys are out all of service indefinitely. Regional Rail is the only service running in the city for Tuesday morning’s rush hour.

“Our membership voted to go on strike if we did not reach a new agreement by midnight on October 31,” TWU Local 234 President Willie Brown said in a midnight release from the union. “Despite months of constructive and innovative proposals from our side of the table, management has refused to budge on key issues including safety issues that would save lives and not cost SEPTA a dime. There is no new agreement, so we are on strike.” Read more »

Here’s What You Need to Know as the SEPTA Strike Looms

Original photo by Flickr user Perry Quan

Original photo by Flickr user Perry Quan

Contract negotiations between SEPTA and representatives of Transportation Workers Union Local 234 over the weekend were reportedly tense. If an agreement is not reached by the time the union’s contract expires at midnight tonight, roughly 5,000 SEPTA employees have said they will walk off the job. Read more »

Can SEPTA Win Back Rail Riders After a Season of Extreme Discontent?

Illustration by Gluekit

Illustration by Gluekit

Regional Rail service is finally back to normal on SEPTA. That means we can all go back to what we were doing before 30 percent of the railroad fleet got yanked off the tracks, right?

No. Not really. There’s not much else that’s normal about the state of Regional Rail service today. And that continues to affect how the riding public views the transit agency Philadelphians hate to love. Read more »

« Older Posts  |  Newer Posts »