PHILADELPHIA. Two weeks ago, Willie Brown put the bulls-eye square on his back, after calling for a 3 a.m. transit strike that left thousands of commuters stranded.

The walk-out ended after six days, and while not apologetic, the president of Transport Workers Union Local 234 said he hopes riders understand his fight.

What kind of feedback have you gotten from riders?

It depends on who the riders are. It basically comes down to union versus non-union people. The majority of union people understand.

How do you repair relations with upset riders?

It’s not something I control. I have to do a job, and hopefully as time goes on people come to understand this wasn’t only a fight for us, it was a fight for them as well. Like the fight for minimum wage [a few years ago], when we took on the fight for minimum wage it wasn’t a fight for us, 'cause my members make more than minimum wage.

In the end, was it worth it?

Absolutely. No. 1, had we not taken a strike it would’ve been a race to the bottom. This was not only about SEPTA, but had a lot to do with politicians also. You had politicians looking at us [to see] that we got the least amount as possible because you got city negotiations coming up. I will never help anybody go against another union. Also, the health care piece was important… Had we not taken a strike, a couple years down the road they wanted the right to say we can come and take whatever change we feel necessary.