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October 14, 2016

Transit workers could strike on Sunday

Labor Transit
Trolley Brewerytown Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The 15 Trolley on Girard Avenue in the Brewerytown neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Members of the union that represents SEPTA's trolley, bus and subway operators will meet on Sunday to determine if they will go to strike in November. 

As detailed by PlanPhilly's Jim Saska, a strike could disrupt the transit system's ability to handle commuter traffic on election day on November 8, if it lasts that long. 

SEPTA's two-year contract with the Transportation Workers Local 234 is set to expire at the end of this month. Union president Willie Brown did not immediately respond to a call for comment, but the recent edition of the union's newsletter claims "SEPTA wants to destroy the health benefits all of us hold dear." 

The newsletter also claims the transit agency is proposing cost-saving cuts to union members' health care plans that that would "cost us more and provide us with less." 

"We can’t give up our health care coverage, it’s definitely something worth fighting over," notes the newsletter. 

Union members are expected to vote Sunday to decide if a strike will begin on November 1. 

Carla Showell-Lee, director of media relations for SEPTA, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.