By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Presidential Emergency Board is expected to hear more testimony today from SEPTA, after two unions had their say yesterday (see related story), in a long-running labor dispute. The mediation is happening at an undisclosed Center City Hotel.
Three members of the panel are on a 30-day mission to hear testimony from locomotive engineers and electrical workers, as well as SEPTA labor relations staff, and deliver a report with recommendations to the President by July 14th. The board’s recommendations are non-binding.
Just over a week ago, the two unions went on a one day strike, SEPTA’S first since 1983.
But at the request of Governor Corbett, President Obama intervened and appointed the presidential emergency board to hear their labor dispute. That action on June 14th restarted train service.
The emergency board process has a shelf life of 240-days, during which workers are required to stay on the job, per the Railway Labor Act. If they don’t reach agreement by February, there could be another strike.
Their contract negotiations have been stalled for four years.