SEPTA engineers plan strike vote

Posted: May 18, 2014

Engineers who operate SEPTA Regional Rail trains will soon vote on authorizing a strike, the national office of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen said Friday.

The engineers, as well as SEPTA railroad electrical workers represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 744, are in a federally mandated 30-day "cooling off" period that will end June 14.

After that, it is likely that a presidential emergency board will be created to investigate the long-running labor dispute; that would delay a strike or lock-out by up to 240 days.

The upcoming strike-authorization vote follows SEPTA's decision to decline an offer of binding arbitration from the National Mediation Board. Both unions, which represent about 440 workers at SEPTA, had agreed to arbitration.

The electrical workers authorized a strike several years ago, and that authorization remains in effect, said Arthur Davidson, general chairman of IBEW System Council 7.

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