SEPTA Strike, Day 2: Here’s What’s Happening

Here we go again, Philly. Regional Rail, the city’s only form of public transportation right now, seems to be even more of a mess today.

Welcome to day two of the SEPTA strike.

Against all odds, the city still appears to be functioning despite the fact that close to 5,000 SEPTA workers belonging to Transport Workers Union Local 234 walked off the job late Sunday night after their contract with SEPTA management expired.

What ensued? Chaos erupted in the commuting world, as trolleys, city buses and subways ceased to operate. Yesterday, we gave you a guide to what’s happening and how to navigate the city sans public transportation. Here’s what you missed if you gave up paying attention to the news and frustration yesterday.

In what is perhaps the most antagonizing move of the strike, TWU workers picketed Regional Rail yards last night. The workers brought a near halt to the only means of public transportation in the city right now, provoking quite a bit of backlash and causing Regional Rail to cancel a “significant” amount of trains, as many crews could not make it to where they needed to go.

SEPTA has obtained an injunction against the picketers to prevent them from halting the rail lines, but Regional Rail was and still is plagued with delays and packed cars as a result. In fact, crowding and delays seem to be more prevalent than yesterday, despite the fact that Regional Rail added additional trains to some lines this morning.

Both Gov. Tom Wolf and Mayor Jim Kenney are urging SEPTA and TWU to reach an agreement on a new contract. They’re reportedly expected to continue negotiating this morning.

In a statement released yesterday at 5 p.m., the union claimed it had not heard from SEPTA management all day. A press release put out by SEPTA on November 1st claimed that TWU president Willie Brown “walked away from a contract offer that would have provided his members pay raises, enhanced pension benefits, maintained health care coverage levels and continued job security, while also remaining fair and affordable for the taxpayers and riders who fund SEPTA.”

Here’s more information on why the two sides are struggling to reach an agreement, including three debunked myths about the strike.

SEPTA has said it will seek an injunction to force workers back to their jobs on Election Day if an agreement is not reached by then. Many people are taking to social media to express frustration over the strike, especially since TWU picketed Regional Rail yards last night, making many already-frustrated commuters experience difficult journeys home.

On the other hand, some, including District Attorney Seth Williams, have said they support the union’s decision.

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.