Our Sister and Brother transit workers in Philadelphia went on strike November 1. They have brought the second-largest city on the east coast almost to a standstill, showing the world what power the working class can wield. Their bosses, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) refuse to make the improvements demanded by TWU Local 234 in working conditions, pensions and other issues. This has forced Philadelphia transit workers to strike. We call for Victory to the Philadelphia Transit Workers!
TWU Local 100 leaders have stated support for Local 234, and Local 100 President Samuelsen has appeared at Local 234 press conferences. But they have not much publicized the strike or really built solidarity among Local 100's ranks. Think what support a fighting trade union leadership could give to our Sisters and Brothers in Philly! Local 100 could campaign in union and mass media for its members to join the picket lines in Philadelphia, and arrange great numbers of buses to take us there. We could have a mass support demonstration in New York, of transit workers and other unions.
Our Sisters and Brothers in Philadelphia didn't stop fighting because of the drawn-out national election campaign -- and we shouldn't let the elections be an excuse to abstain from helping them! A militant leadership in New York could make the point: Philadelphia transit workers' fight is our fight -- their victory can help us win our own contract fight in January!
These are a few steps that could help our Sister and Brother transit workers. The show of working class strength they would convey would stimulate larger numbers of workers to look for ways of joining together to fight the bosses and start to reverse the unanswered bosses' attacks on the working class. Like Local 100 and many other transit worker unions, the Philadelphia transit strikers are largely Black and other workers of color. If they win, it could encourage the further self-organization and mobilization of the masses of young and not-so-young Black people who have come into struggle behind the banner of Black Lives Matter.
We encourage all members and friends of TWU Local 100 to communicate on Facebook, email and otherwise contact John Samuelsen and the leadership of TWU Local 100, urging that the Local throw all its resources into this fight, as suggested above and/or any other ideas you have for mass workers' mobilization to support the Philadelphia transit workers' strike. An Injury to One is an Injury to All!