Hundreds of rail workers demand raises and go on strike - Tucson News Now

Hundreds of rail workers demand raises and go on strike

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SEPTA Director of Media Relations Jerri Williams said rail workers denied pay offers. (Source: KYW/CNN) SEPTA Director of Media Relations Jerri Williams said rail workers denied pay offers. (Source: KYW/CNN)

PHILADELPHIA (KYW/CNN) - About 400 rail workers went on strike in the Philadelphia area Saturday.

Officials with the two unions made the announcement late Friday night.

It will result in the shutdown of 13 different regional rail lines.

SEPTA says that will affect about 60,000 riders.

The dispute has been years in the making, with the unions and SEPTA arguing for four or five years.

Workers from both unions have been working without contracts for several years.

The sticking points for both include employee contributions to healthcare and the unions demanding retroactive raises going back to when the contracts expired.

SEPTA agreed to future raises but not retroactive ones.

"We're disappointed, we really felt that the one issue that was a sticking point was something we could continue to discuss, we did act for a two-week extension, with or without the pay raises that we had offered to the employees, those offers were denied, were turned down," SEPTA Director of Media Relations Jerri Williams said.

The governor could end the strike.

He can ask the White House to convene a presidential emergency board, which would force both parties to the negotiating table for 240 days.

It's not clear if the governor will do that.

Copyright 2014 KYW via CNN. All rights reserved.

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