President Obama created presidential emergency board to halt Pennsylvania rail workers' strike

By Elizabeth Learned,

Rail workers in Pennsylvania went on strike early Saturday, but it was halted when President Barack Obama intervened and signed an executive order at the request of Governor Tom Corbett.

The unions for the 450 rail workers were unable to reach a deal with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority when it came to contracts, CNN reported.

Reuters reported that Corbett wanted a presidential emergency board created in order to get both sides to not only go back to negotiating, but for the engineers and electrical workers who were part of the strike to come back to work.

According to The Daily Pennsylvania, Corbett focused on the needs of the people of Pennsylvania, saying “The people of Philadelphia and the surround regions expect and deserve a safe and efficient rail system to get them to work, medical appointments, school, and recreation.”

He wanted both parties to keep the commuters in their minds as they worked on their discussions.

Within hours, President Obama granted the request, calling for “a swift and smooth resolution” between SEPTA and the unions, The Associated Press reported.

While workers do need to go back to work once the emergency board is put into effect, the rail service won’t start back up until Sunday at 6 a.m.

The emergency board has been given 30 days to put together a report that will detail the best way to dissolve the dispute between parties. The entire process as a whole will likely last for 240 days and SEPTA employees will be required to work during this time.

image courtesy of INFphoto.com

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