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LOCAL 234 OF THE TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION ISSUES STATEMENT

 LOCAL 234 OF THE TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION ISSUES STATEMENT
 PHILADELPHIA, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Local 234 of the Transport Workers Union today issued the following statement (dated Wednesday, April 22):
 "Wednesday, April 22
 "Local 234 of the Transport Workers Union issued a statement today to SEPTA riders in hopes of averting a region-wide transit strike. On Thursday, the SEPTA Board is scheduled to vote on the tentative agreement reached in March between SEPTA management and the Union. A Board rejection of the contract will provoke a walkout. The text of the statement follows:
 "RIDERS CAN HELP AVERT COSTLY TRANSIT STRIKE
 "On Thursday the SEPTA Board will vote on the contract negotiated between SEPTA management and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 234.
 "If the Board rejects the agreement a region-wide transit strike will follow, shutting down bus, trolley and train service in Philadelphia, Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery and Chester counties.
 "The main concern raised about the contract is whether or not SEPTA can afford to pay for it. On March 20, Board Chairman, Clayton Undercofler, said he supported the contract and that 'it's affordable, within our current subsidy levels....' Neither the City or State would have to increase their financial support to SEPTA to pay for the contract.
 "TWU WANTS TO AVERT A STRIKE
 "The agreement was negotiated and signed in good faith. Its terms are fair to everyone, including the riding public. The Inquirer has recommended ratification. So too has the Philadelphia Business Journal. The Governor's appointee on the Board is ready to vote yes. SEPTA GM Lou Gambaccini supports it.
 "Were the Board to reject the contract the TWU would be forced to act. Not only would city transit service be shut down but so would SEPTA's suburban lines. With the commuter rail lines experiencing major disruptions due to bridge, track and signal reconstruction, a strike would be a great inconvenience to the public and hurt the region's economy.
 "Given the high costs of a walkout a no vote by the Board would be an irrational business decision for SEPTA, the city and the region.
 "Common sense would suggest that, as the Inquirer Editorial stated, 'a deal is a deal' and the Board should approve the agreement, sparing the region a disruptive and costly strike.
 "TWU members want to avert a strike. They voted to accept the new agreement by a margin of 3,962 to 167.
 "MAYORAL LEADERSHIP REQUIRED
 "If the board votes no it will be because self-serving political interests in the city and their cohorts on the Board are trying to turn SEPTA into a haven for patronage and a vehicle for awarding lucrative contracts to their cronies and campaign contributors. The in-fighting on the SEPTA board over the TWU contract has nothing to do with providing safe, reliable or affordable transit service to the public!
 "When Ed Rendell ran for mayor he promised to fight patronage at the Housing Authority and other public agencies. The Mayor can now put his pledge to work and avert a strike. The City has two votes on the SEPTA Board. If they vote yes there will be no strike.
 "Neither the City nor the surrounding counties can afford a transit strike. It's time for the Mayor to exercise some leadership, by insisting that the Board put patronage politics aside, and in the best interests of SEPTA, the City and the riding public, vote to accept the agreement.
 "To help prevent a walkout riders should call the Mayor and members of the SEPTA Board shown below whose votes are pivotal to the outcome:
 "Mayor Ed Rendell, 215-686-2181; Judy Harris, Philadelphia, 215-981-4048; James Schwartzman, Fumo appointee, 215-977-8000; Andrew Warren, Bucks County, 215-348-6000; Sen. Earl Baker, 215-296-7828."
 /delval/
 -0- 4/21/92 R
 /CONTACT: Harry Lombardo, president of TWU, 215-927-5300/ CO: Transport Workers Union, Local 234 ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


JS-LJ -- PH019 -- 0603 04/21/92 11:34 EDT
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Date:Apr 21, 1992
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