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Looming Philadelphia Public Transit Strike Threatens To Backfire On Unions’ Election Hopes

Sunday, October 30, 2016 19:22
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With Democratic“Get Out The Vote” rallies springing up everywhere around Philadelphia (culminating with a Katy Perry concert this weekend) and Hillary clinging to a lead in Pennsylvania, perhaps the Transport Workers Union should have picked a better week to start a mass transit strike – potentially threatening to cut turnout among the African-American community dramatically on election day.

As FiveThirtyEight wrote, when most people think of battleground America, they think of Florida and Ohio, two of only three states (along with Nevada) that have voted for the winner of every presidential election since 1996. They tend not to think of Pennsylvania as a classic “swing state” — it has voted for the Democrat in every election since 1992, and it didn’t even crack the top 10 in 2012 campaign ad spending.

But in 2016, Pennsylvania could be the keystone of the Electoral College and the ultimate arbiter of whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Which perhaps explains the major push to increase turnout and “get out the vote”…

So far so good as far as polls go, Pennsylvania is leaning to Hillary (pre-FBI emails)…

But there may be a problem for Hillary Clinton’s campaign turnout (aside from the FBI emails debacle), as 6ABC news reports, members of the Transport Workers Union are set to walk off the job on Monday night bringing public transportation in the city to a halt unless an agreement can be reached.

Talk continued on Wednesday, but negotiations have been very slow going, and issues like pensions remain to be resolved. That is why at this point people are starting to talk about strike contingency plans.

“People are going to have to be creative. They’re going to have to think of ways to get to work,” says SEPTA’s Director of Media Relations, Carla Showell-Lee.

If there is a TWU walkout November 1st, city buses, trolleys, the subway and EL will not run.

*  *  *

With Trump winning among blue-collar and disaffected voters, Philadelphia’s large African-American population is key for Clinton to ensure the state and a public transport shutdown in the city is far more likely to affect Hillary’s base ability to get to polling stations than Trump’s.


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