A judge ruled Friday there was no urgent need to issue an injunction to end Philadelphia’s four-day transit strike, but said she would take a second look at the request before Election Day. After a 2 1/2-hour hearing Friday night, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Linda Carpenter denied SEPTA’s request to immediately force 4,738 striking workers back on the job. She scheduled a second hearing for 9:30 a.m. Monday. “There’s enough evidence that an injunction might be appropriate,” Carpenter said. “There’s not enough evidence that injunction right now is necessary.” SEPTA had been threatening to go to court since the strike began at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, and filed the injunction paperwork at 3 p.m. Friday. The strike has brought the city’s subways, buses, and trolleys to a standstill and caused heavy traffic on the region’s streets, highways and regional rail. “This is about the riders,” said Pasquale Deon, SEPTA’s board chairman, “and it’s just a horrible situation to put the city of Philadelphia in.”
After the judge’s decision, lawyers representing the Transportation Workers Union Local 234 said the ruling supported their argument that the strike was not causing irreparable harm to the city or its residents.
“We recognize strikes are inconvenient, we recognize that strikes cause people to endure conditions that they frankly [would] rather not endure and the union would rather they not endure,” said Nancy Lassen, an attorney representing the TWU. “But that is not a basis under Pennsylvania law to grant an injunction against striking employees.”
Negotiations resumed Friday evening and were expected to continue through the weekend. SEPTA officials said Friday it would take an estimated 24 hours from the end of a strike to get its routes back to regular service.
Full Article: Judge denies injunction to end strike, will revisit Monday.