Philadelphia Even in the best of times, waking up to a surprise transit strike is like a bad dream come true. When the sudden walkout comes during an economic downturn, it becomes more like a public relations nightmare.
The Philadelphia transit system’s largest union went on strike early Tuesday over wage, pension and health care issues, stalling the city’s bus, subway and trolley operations and forcing thousands of commuters to find other ways to get to work — and to Election Day polls.
“I think they have a lot of nerve to ask for more money in this economy,” said Robert Washington, of west Philadelphia, who relied on his bicycle to get to his office job downtown. “There are people who don’t have jobs who would love to have one of their jobs. It’s arrogant.”
The sudden strike by Transport Workers Union Local 234 all but crippled the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, which averages more than 928,000 trips each weekday. No new negotiations were scheduled Tuesday.