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11/2/2005



Rail News: Labor

TWU, UTU enter third day of strike at SEPTA


On Monday, about 5,300 Transport Workers Union- and United Transportation Union-represented employees launched a strike at Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).

Contracts for TWU Local 234 and UTU Local 1594 — which represent SEPTA subway, trolley and bus operators — expired in spring. Because of the strike, SEPTA has shut down all trolley, bus and subway routes in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties, but continues to operate regional rail routes.

SEPTA, which has proposed a 9 percent pay increase during a three-year period, is ready to resume negotiations, according to the authority.

However, UTU officials say the authority has "ignored attempts to bargain in good faith," UTU officials said in a statement.

"They said they would not negotiate with the UTU until they had an agreement in place with the TWU," said UTU Vice President Tony Iannone. "When TWU walked, we walked."

SEPTA has proposed reducing UTU-represented workers’ health-care benefits 15 percent, but increasing the workers’ health-care insurance contributions, union officials said.



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