President Obama has stepped in to end a commuter rail strike in Philadelphia.
On Saturday, Obama granted Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s request for the creation of an emergency board to mediate the contract issues.
“Obama ordered the establishment of the three-member board effective at 12:01 a.m. Sunday. He called for “a swift and smooth resolution” of the dispute between the Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and its engineers and electricians unions.
“Workers will have to return to the job when the board goes into effect after midnight, however SEPTA said rail service wouldn’t be up and running until around 6 a.m. Sunday. They don’t have to resume direct talks with each other, but they do have to participate with the board’s process, which typically involves written submissions and hearings.
“Obama is giving the board 30 days to deliver a report recommending how the dispute should be resolved.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that SEPTA trains carry about 60,000 riders on a typical weekday. Few, however, were inconvenienced because the strike started Saturday and trains were back up and running by Sunday morning.
Jerri Williams, SEPTA spokeswoman, told the paper that “all workers scheduled for the Sunday morning shift have showed up.”