Philadelphia The Philadelphia transit system’s largest union agreed Saturday not to go on strike as contract talks continued hours before the start of Game 3 of the World Series, Pennsylvania’s governor and the city’s mayor said.
Gov. Ed Rendell and Mayor Michael Nutter told reporters late Saturday afternoon that a 6 p.m. strike deadline would pass with no walkout by the union representing more than 5,000 bus drivers, subway and trolley operators and mechanics of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.
Rendell said there had been “substantial progress” and that although no agreement had yet been reached, he hoped one could be concluded quickly. He said he had told both sides to stay at the bargaining table or risk “significant consequences” of losing state support for mass transit.
Rendell declined to discuss issues still dividing the two sides, but said such negotiations always centered on wages, pensions and health care.
“We expect to get a contract very soon,” said Willie Brown, president of the Transport Workers Union Local 234, who said the union had agreed to remain in the talks as long as the governor was involved.