Wednesday, August 11, 2004


The Regional Rail system may be in danger of a shutdown if a labor dispute between SEPTA and one of its railroad unions is not resolved by December. According to the Associated Press, the Bush Administration authorized a second review board to attempt to negotiate a settlement between UTU Local 61 - which represents conductors and assistant conductors on the Regional Rail lines - and SEPTA. In April, the Administration authorized a similar board, however, no agreement was reached, when neither SEPTA nor UTU 61 accepted that board's recommendations. SEPTA warns that if the second board can't help reach an agreement between the two sides, then the union would be free to authorize a strike as early as December 12. The last strike on the Regional Rail system was in 1982, when RRD employees - then working for ConRail - struck for 108 days, virtually causing gridlock in the region. There's no word on what the issues involved are, but one could guess that wages and insurance are at the top of the list, similar to the labor fights between SEPTA and TWU 234 earlier this year.

Stay tuned...

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