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Nearly 99 percent of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) members working for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) have voted to authorize a strike when a mandatory 30-day cooling off period under the Railway Labor Act ends in less than two weeks, BLET officials announced this morning.Locomotive engineers could walk off the job or be locked out by SEPTA at 12:01 a.m. on June 14 unless President Barack Obama intervenes and appoints a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB), according to a BLET press release. A PEB would delay a strike or lockout, and would investigate and issue a report and recommendations concerning a dispute in negotiations, union officials said."It is unfortunate that SEPTA's refusal to bargain in good faith makes the June 14 self-help deadline the best option for our members," said BLET Vice President Steve Bruno. "In any event, the citizens of Philadelphia should be prepared for the shutdown of SEPTA’s rail service in the Philadelphia metropolitan area if a strike or lockout should occur."
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