Rail workers return, but wages still undecided

A 20-year-old man reportedly was texting his friend when he was struck and killed by a SEPTA train in Abington on Monday. Credit: Metro file photo
Credit: Metro file photo

The SEPTA Regional Rail is back on track, but the two rail workers unions are still fighting for higher wages.

The roughly 400 rail workers – including members of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers – left their jobs on Saturday, but returned Sunday morning after President Barack Obama appointed an emergency board to try and settle the dispute.

Gov. Tom Corbett asked Obama to appoint the board which would bring the workers back and get the trains moving for at least 240 days, as per the unions agreement.

SEPTA and the unions will now participate in hearings scheduled for the week of June 23. By July 14, Obama’s board will issue its recommendation.

Even after the board offers its recommendation, another strike is plausible starting in 2015.

The strikes was essentially a battle over wage increases.

SEPTA offered $3 an hour increase for IBEW, and for BLET an immediate increase and then another $2.60 per hour pay increase.

The rail workers said they want the raises to be retroactive to the expiration of its previous contract in 2010, and an additional 3 percent raise.

By the numbers

108

The last SEPTA Regional Rail strike, back in 1983, lasted 108 days.

1

This weekend’s strike lasted one day.

_____________________

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