The Transport Workers Union Local 234 represents the 5,700 unionized workers that operate the nation's sixth-largest transit system. In addition to the usual sticking points over pensions and health care, the union has been very firm in demanding that break time and driver fatigue be addressed as well.
I could link you to some “unbiased” local news but…..screw that, here’s the union’s totally biased side of things, with a particularly unnerving & underreported sentence in bold:
Since negotiations broke down, the Union has been trying to get SEPTA back to the table to discuss economic issues, such as pension reform, health care and wage improvements. However, SEPTA is refusing to present a reasonable economic package. Instead, they are opposed to any and all improvements in our pension, while pushing a hard line on health care concessions, including an inferior health care plan with the option of maintaining our current benefits, but at the cost of over $400 a month for family coverage.
SEPTA’s position on pension reform is particularly outrageous when you consider that last year management gave themselves a pension increase of more than $500 a month! At the same time, they’re telling us there is no money to raise the pension benefits of our members. Here’s the bottom line.
The chances of a strike at 12:01 a.m., November 1 increased significantly today. Last night, a well-attended meeting of “Solid 234” union activists stepped up the Local’s strike preparations. Today, the leadership met with politicians at every level of government in the hope that progressive minded political leaders will press the Republicans in control of the SEPTA Board to come to their senses, particularly Pat Deon, the strike happy chairman of the SEPTA Board. It’s important to remember that Deon led the infamous attack on our members in 1998, causing a 40 day strike, the second longest in the Local’s history.
As we’ve been saying, it’s time to get ready to rumble. Our jobs and our livelihoods are on the line. Nothing is more important. We must have the will to fight. WE MUST AND WE WILL!
Soldiarity brother. Now, in case you’re wondering how the hell a big democratic city’s transit is controlled by Rethuglicans in the first place, feast your eyes on this B.S:
The SEPTA Board has been at times a contentious governing body. Philadelphia has the same number of seats — two — as each of the four surrounding counties: Montgomery, Delaware, Chester, and Bucks. The governor also appoints a representative. Four seats are filled by the state legislature.
That’s right, Philadelphia, largest city in the state and the overwhelming beneficiary of SEPTA service, is given the same amount of influence in its governance as suburb counties that may have a handful of bus routes and regional rail stations. Nice.
Republican SEPTA chairman Pat Deon hasn’t publicly joined his colleagues in endorsing Trump via speech, interview, or racist Facebook meme, but his support for the Orange Caudillo was strongly implied in a NPR piece he was in last summer.
What do you say, folks?
What are the odds a state level Republican attempts to desperately ratfuck democracy by purposefully stonewalling the union to (hopefully) depress turnout with a transit strike? Worst case scenario they actually cave and take a crap deal, right?
They’d never stoop that low, right?
Ah, who am I kidding.