Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

From today’s CBS News:

The union representing SEPTA’s locomotive engineers (The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen) unanimously voted to authorize a strike on Monday.

BLET said they voted to authorize the strike due to being short-staffed, a lack of raises over the years and the demand for other benefits. 

“The engineers and trainman on SEPTA are the lowest paid in the industry,” BLET Vice President James P. Louis said in a release. “With the new contract on commuter lines in the Northeast, a newly promoted engineer on SEPTA is paid approximately 58 percent per hour less than his or her counterparts. It takes engineers fifteen years, three to five times longer than any other railroad in the country to achieve the full rate on SEPTA which is still approximately 20 percent lower than other carriers in the Northeast.”  

Currently, there are 177 total SEPTA locomotive engineers, but BLET said they need 230 to properly maintain SEPTA’s schedule. The roster of locomotive engineers went down to as low as 159 in September, according to a release. 

BLET said in a release they haven’t had a raise since 2019 and many of the locomotive engineers have left SEPTA for better-paying jobs at Amtrak or elsewhere.   

Benefits like parental leave, pension plans that other commuter agencies and bus drivers receive aren’t offered to SEPTA rail employees, according to a release. 

Read the complete story here.

By Editor