Transit Union: SEPTA Can Afford a Settlement

5,000 workers getting ready to walk off the job.

Newsworks reports that transit union head Willie Brown has made his first public statement since negotiations ended March 13th.

“I’m going to work as long as I can until you know, it comes to a point, when there’s no reason to negotiate anymore, then I’ll do what I have to do,” Brown said.

Brown said any strike would not take place until three remaining, smaller contracts expire the first week of April.

“I believe we go out together, we come back together.”

If the two sides do not reach a deal by the first week of April, the total number of SEPTA employees working without a contract would top 5,000.

Brown also said that SEPTA — having received a fresh infusion of funds from the state in a new transit bill — could afford to meet union terms on health insurance and employee pension contributions. SEPTA officials said those funds came earmarked for transportation projects.