A bill proposed in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives would prohibit SEPTA employees from striking.
SEPTA workers last went on strike in 2009, when a six-day strike shut down mass transit in the region. A SEPTA strike loomed last weekend, causing concerns about how the city would be affected.
House Bill 2109, sponsored by Rep. Kate Harper, R-Montgomery, would add SEPTA employees to the list of critical employees not allowed to strike because their function is essential to the commonwealth, including prison guards and people with essential functions.
“The mass transit system is absolutely vital to the Philadelphia region, and to the millions of people who rely upon it to get to and from work, school, appointments and errands every day,” Harper said. “We simply cannot afford a repeat of the 2009 strike, which occurred with no notice and left people stranded.
The bill would not require SEPTA to engage in binding arbitration, Harper's staff emphasized.
The bill will now be referred to the House House Labor and Industry Committee.