Union: Philadelphia transit strike not imminent; riders to get 24 hours' notice of walkout

Associated Press

The president of the union representing Philadelphia transit workers says there won't be a strike in the immediate future.

But Willie Brown said Monday that he's making no promises after this week.

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The Transport Workers Union Local 234 represents about 4,700 bus, trolley and subway operators whose contract with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority expired in March. Members voted Sunday to authorize a strike.

Brown calls pensions the biggest holdup, saying there's a disparity between what SEPTA managers receive and what rank-and-file workers get.

SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams said union retirees average an income replacement ratio of 78 percent, compared to 75 percent for management retirees.

Brown said riders would get 24 hours' notice of a walkout, a statement Williams praised. The union's last strike in 2009 lasted six days.