SMART Transportation Division Pennsylvania State Legislative Director Paul Pokrowka is calling on all members to help stop legislation introduced here that bans Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority employees from striking.
H.B. 2109, introduced by State Rep. Kate Harper (R), would add SEPTA workers to the list of public employees prohibited from striking in the state, including “employees directly involved with and necessary to the functioning of the courts of this Commonwealth,” her website reads.
The bill would amend Section 1001 of P.L.563, No.195, stating that “strikes by employees of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), guards at prisons or mental hospitals, or employees directly involved with and necessary to the functioning of the courts of this Commonwealth are prohibited at any time. If a strike occurs the public employer shall forthwith initiate in the court of common pleas of the jurisdiction where the strike occurs, an action for appropriate equitable relief including but not limited to injunctions.”
Pokrowka is requesting all members and their family members to contact their representatives in the Pennsylvania General Assembly and ask them to vote “no” on H.B. 2109.
“This legislation tramples on the rights of workers. If this bill is passed, what group of workers will be targeted next?” Pokrowka asked.
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Harper originally introduced this legislation in 2009 following a six-day strike by various SEPTA employees, including members of the SMART Transportation Division (UTU). The legislation did not get out of committee at that time.