Report: Total SEPTA Shutdown Could Come In February

It seems like there won't be a SEPTA regional rail strike this year. But there could be a total system shutdown in early 2015.

Let’s forget the good news. There is ominous news about SEPTA, and we’ll focus on that.

So, yes: The bad news is that a complete SEPTA shutdown could come in February.

That’s what SEPTA told the Inquirer: While SEPTA will apply for a second 120-day extension of federal mediation with Regional Rail workers, if no deal is reached by February 13th there could be a complete walkout of SEPTA workers.

SEPTA’s regional rail electrical workers accepted the terms of federal mediation. Engineers want to settle, but are balking at two provisions: The effective date of wage increases, and uniform requirements.

SEPTA engineers want simply to wear a vest. “We feel a shirt and additional outerwear would be appropriate,” SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams told the paper.

Transit Workers Union 234, which represents most other SEPTA workers, is currently in contract negotiations. They could walk out at any time, but chances are they’d wait to walk out in a system-wide strike when rail engineers are still working without a contract as well.