PHILADELPHIA – The Latest on the SEPTA strike by about 4,700 transit workers in Philadelphia (all times local):
Union leaders representing about 4,700 striking transit workers in Philadelphia accused the city’s main transit agency of playing games instead of focusing on reaching a deal in the strike’s third day.
Union President Willie Brown says the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s request to halt the walkout on Election Day is not helpful. He says SEPTA negotiators should stop worrying about next week and reach a contract settlement.
The strike began early Tuesday after SEPTA and the union failed to reach a contract agreement.
The walkout has halted buses, trolleys and subways that provide about 900,000 rides a day.
Some city leaders have expressed concern that the strike and its resulting traffic woes could last through Election Day, leaving some residents little time to vote Nov. 8.
Frustrated commuters are calling on striking Philadelphia transit workers to make a deal as union members walked the picket lines for a third day and traffic congestion clogged city streets.
A union spokesman says contract talks are ongoing between its negotiators and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.
The strike began early Tuesday after SEPTA and a union representing about 4,700 workers failed to reach a contract agreement.
Buses, trolleys and subways that provide about 900,000 rides a day have been shut down. Regional rail lines are experiencing delays as a result of increased rider demand as commuters scrambled to find another way into the city.
Commuters are bracing for a third day of traffic gridlock in Philadelphia as the city’s transit agency urges the union representing about 4,700 striking workers to engage in good-faith negotiations to bring an end to the walkout.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said late Wednesday that a strike should be “an option of last resort,” and when you have one, there needs to be added urgency to get a deal done.
SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr. says on several occasions this week, SEPTA negotiators believed progress was being made, but Deon says the union “brought a halt to negotiations.”
The union had not issued an official response to SEPTA’s statement as of early Thursday morning.
The strike began at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, shutting down buses, trolleys and subways.