Local #1594 in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, represents roughly 300 SMART-TD members working for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) in bus service, commuter rail, and trolley service. The size of this local and the diversity in its crafts makes it a unique local with opportunities and challenges that cannot be addressed with cookie-cutter solutions.

Recently, a handful of our brothers and sisters in Local 1594 have reached out to the International with questions that touched on a variety of complicated issues. Without delay, SMART-TD President Jeremy Ferguson decided to head to Pennsylvania to have an open dialogue with the members of 1594, with the intention of resolving the issues and making sure that our Philly members and the International office are on the same page.

President Ferguson assembled his team of Bus Department Vice President Alvey Hughes, Assistant General Counsel Shawn McKinley, and Senior Assistant to the President Ralph Leichliter. On Tuesday, April 25, this leadership group arrived in Upper Darby, attending two local meetings with Local #1594 in an effort to provide information and hear the facts on the ground.

Both meetings were extremely productive. In total, roughly 40 members attended to participate in the discussions, and both the membership and leadership team came away with a better sense of mutual understanding of how SMART-TD can best move forward in our dealings with SEPTA. Ferguson said for his part in these meetings, “I want to thank Local 1594’s leadership and their General Committee Chair Anthony Petty for hosting my team and facilitating these important discussions. We cannot expect to make progress as a labor organization without open lines of communication. I feel that as far as the International office is concerned, we are happy with the progress made in these two meetings in Upper Darby. We have a clearer understanding of what they need from us as officers, and I’d like to think they now have a better understanding of what needs to be done on their end as well.”

If any members of Local 1594 have follow-up questions about what was discussed at last week’s meetings, SMART-TD would like to encourage them to reach out to our office. Please contact our office at (216) 228-9408 and use extension #1 to reach the President’s Department.