PHILADELPHIA, PA (OCTOBER 29, 2021) – Philadelphia City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District) released the following statement on the tentative two-year contract deal between SEPTA and the Transport Workers Union Local 234. Johnson is chairman of Council’s Transportation Committee, which monitors SEPTA operations.
“I want to thank officials from SEPTA and the Transport Workers Union Local 234 (TWU Local 234) for working hard to reach a tentative agreement on a new two-year contract, avoiding a strike that could have started as soon as November 1.
“As Chairman of City Council’s Transportation Committee, I have been in frequent contact with both sides during the process to urge them to do whatever was necessary to avoid a strike.
“From the start of negotiations, I have advocated that the 5,000 members of the TWU Local 234, SEPTA’s largest labor union, are essential workers during this COVID19 pandemic and have risked their lives and the lives of their own families. In addition, TWU Local 234 employees have had to deal with being the victim of violence from unruly passengers during this COVID19 pandemic as well.
“We did not need a strike between SEPTA and TWU Local 234 in Philadelphia at this time. A strike of any length would have impacted the education of tens of thousands of Philadelphia school students who need SEPTA to get to and from school and their families,” Johnson continued. “A SEPTA strike would have also impacted the ability of Philadelphians to participate in the Pennsylvania General Election Day on November 2.
“I also call on members of the Pennsylvania State House and Senate and the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation to provide additional funding to support SEPTA both for daily operation and for improving infrastructure for the entire SEPTA system as we move forward.
“A union ratification vote has been scheduled for Friday, November 5. I support the TWU Local 234 leadership in calling for members to vote yes on ratification of the tentative agreement.”