Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

SEPTA strike: Too much vitriol

Lots of vitriol yesterday on my voice mail and email, mostly about the SEPTA workers. One or two had some racial epithets for Willie Brown. One suggested that vets returning from the war replace the drivers, especially "that fat one," whoever that is. One said he'd like to see the whole group replaced.

SEPTA strike: Too much vitriol

Lots of vitriol yesterday on my voice mail and email, mostly about the SEPTA workers. One or two had some racial epithets for Willie Brown, head of the union. One suggested that vets returning from the war replace the drivers, especially "that fat one," whoever that is. One said he'd like to see the whole group replaced.

What bothers me about the whole economic scenario is the general deflation of wages and benefits. Everyone is taking cuts. The SEPTA workers managed to get themselves a decent deal -- not a great deal, but a decent deal. Is getting a decent deal a crime? You'd think so, listening to the calls. 

If middle-class people can't make enough to paint their homes and keep up their properties, what will happen to the city? What will happen to my home, if I live across the street from someone who can't afford a roof repair or who parks a junker in the street? If people don't have enough money for health insurance and go broke and abandon their properties, then what? If more and more kids come to school without enough to eat or without enough support at home to handle homework, what will happen to the education of the rest of the people? How will teachers be able to cope with the average, non-trouble-making kid, when the class is oversubscribed with children who can't cope with poverty at home.  

Truly, I don't know what the answer is and how the economy will be resolved, or if it ever will, but the more people who can't make enough to have a decent life, the more everyone will suffer.  

About this blog

Jobbing covers the workplace – employment, unemployment, management, unions, legal issues, labor economics, benefits, work-life balance, workforce development, trends and profiles.

Jane M. Von Bergen writes about workplace issues for the Inquirer.

Married to a photographer she met at her college newspaper, Von Bergen has been a reporter since fourth grade, covering education, government, retailing, courts, marketing and business. “I love the specific detail that tells the story,” she says.

Reach Jane M. at jvonbergen@phillynews.com.

Jane M. Von Bergen Inquirer Staff Writer
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