By: Billy BeerSlugger
It was great of SEPTA’s TWU 234 workers to strike yesterday leaving hundreds of thousands of Philadelphian’s not only without a ride to work, school, doctors appointments etc, but also without leaving them with the proper amount of time to plan for alternate transportation. They struck at 3am in the morning so that it wouldn’t be announced on the 10 or 11 o’clock news or splashed on the front page of news sites before Philadelphian’s went to bed. Which if you’re really trying to piss people off you’re going to sneak attack strike. Not only that but Tuesday, the day the strike began was an Election day.
Not that I don’t give the TWU a little bit of credit for sticking through the Philadelphia end of the World Series but not to inform your ridership at least the night before is downright dastardly. These people have jobs, scholastic careers and other necessary staples of life to attend to that count on SEPTA to get there. I’d love to see the attendance numbers for the thousands of Philadelphia school aged children that need a bus, subway or trolley to get to school. These kids probably love the SEPTA strike because it effectively gives them a get out of school free card today. It’s hard enough to get these kids to go to school as it is without having them walk 4 miles. Lost in the news coverage is the kids who take SEPTA to school and as I always say to my friend who bangs a married chick with kids, “Think about the children.”.
Anyway, I’m not completely against Union’s. My mom was a 30+ year member of the Communications Workers of America, my uncle is a high ranking SEPTA union leader though not the Union that’s striking (as there are 3 unions that serve SEPTA). However, this is really a case of a Union holding a city hostage. When my mom’s union went to the picket line you could at least still make phone calls. It’s pretty customary as well for the people that are striking to show up to a picket line in protest but these lazy sons of bitches, for the most part, are home watching cartoons. Though I did see a story that there was a picket line in front of the Fern Rock station. Obviously they wouldn’t picket anywhere in Center City for fear of being heckled and laughed at.
“We’re damned if we do, and we’re damned if we don’t,” said Harris. “The riding public is not educated on what we’re fighting for. Why should we work under stressful conditions without getting paid for it?”
Well sir, you are getting paid, maybe just not as much as you’d like to. As for the stress of a job, join the club. Without marginalizing the efforts of the workers who really do make SEPTA run, what about those workers in the subways averaging $53,000 a year to take $2 and press a button. I wouldn’t wish that kind of stress on anyone.
Governor Rendell said the five-year contract spurned by TWU leaders called for a $1,250 signing bonus upon ratification, a 2.5 percent raise the second year, and a 3 percent raise in each of the next three years. It also called for an increase in pension payments to workers and no increase in their health-insurance contributions.