The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has delivered yet another F**k You to the people of Philadelphia and its suburbs. SEPTA ordered a strike yesterday, shutting down all bus, trolley, and elevated train/subway routes.
It has become a familiar story: Philadelphia’s public transit workers are on strike. At 12:01 am on November 1st, 4,738 unionized employees ceased working after failed negotiations with SEPTA. This is their first strike since 2014–when President Obama himself had to intervene via executive order–and their 10th since 1977, making SEPTA America’s most strike-prone transit agency, with a new strike every 4 years on average.
SEPTA’s is a prime example of an inefficient organization beholden to a thieving, corrupt union. The only line still running is the regional rails, and these striking asshats picketed in front of stopped trains during rush hour yesterday. That extraordinary dick move delayed the rail system by hours.
Reading the details of the negotiation almost felt monotonous, as SEPTA’s workers made the same laughable demands that have become the norm for every strike-prone bureaucracy throughout urban America. That is, workers who are already receiving well above market-rate pay for the relatively low-skilled profession of operating buses and trains still demand more. The average SEPTA operator makes over $65,000 in salary, and has a built-in annual pay hike. This doesn’t include their health and pension benefits, which workers pay 1% and 3.5% of their paychecks into, respectively, covering a fraction of the overall costs for each plan. But because the union wouldn’t increase pension benefits, the workers went on strike–as they did in 1998, 2005, 2009, 2014, and many times before.
The “average” operator makes $65,000 a year. My base salary is not much greater than that, and I have been with the department for 22 years. But please, SEPTA, cry poverty to people who run into burning buildings and deal with gun-toting thugs every day. Dickholes.
The strike will affect 400,000 riders, including many students. (Thankfully, Mrs. Earp is a stay-at-home mom, or Kyle would be screwed.)