President Obama signed an executive order on Saturday that quickly ended Philadelphia’s regional rail strike. Train engineers will be sent back to their positions while negotiations continue under the guidance of an emergency mediation board.
Governor Corbett turned to President Obama for help claiming the city and surrounding area depends on SEPTA regional rails for transportation to jobs, doctor appointments, and school. The strike could drastically affect the economy and daily lives of the thousands who reside in the Philadelphia tri-state area. Service on the regional lines should be back to normal by Monday June 16. 400 Septa workers went on strike at 12:01 June 14. Obama intervened on Saturday late afternoon and will give the board 30 days to come up with a resolution.
The union agreed to the intervention but will continue to seek a change in pay that includes raises of around 14.5 percent over a five-year period. Union officials feel the request is reasonable but is more than SEPTA’s offer. Obama’s executive order has gotten SEPTA’s regional rails running again, but the negotiations continue. The rails were down for a short period, but still impacted on the city. 13 train lines were affected including; commuter trains to Philadelphia International Airport, New Jersey and Pennsylvania suburbs.
By Christina Thompson