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Philly transit workers' pact expires at midnight

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 14, 2014 at 12:35 pm •  Published: March 14, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is preparing for a possible service disruption even though union workers have given no indication they plan to walk off the job when their contract expires at midnight, agency officials said Friday.

However, representatives from Transport Workers Union Local 234 did not show up to a planned bargaining session on Friday, SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams said. The union also did not respond to the agency's request for a three-month contract extension, she said.

"We had a meeting scheduled, they did not show. What that means, I can't tell you," Williams said at a news conference. "Whenever they want to come back to talk to us, we're available."

A spokesman for the union, which represents about 4,700 employees, could not immediately be reached for comment. A strike by transit workers in 2009 lasted six days.

SEPTA received a contract proposal from the union earlier this week and sent back a counter-proposal on Friday, Williams said, though she did not disclose details. Employee benefits and wages account for about 70 percent of its $1.3 billion operating budget this year.

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