Strike off as are SEPTA talks

PHILADELPHIA. After missing the Phillies’ first home game of the World Series because of the SEPTA labor dispute, Gov. Ed Rendell made it to last night’s game.

The union representing city bus, subway and trolley drivers and SEPTA postponed negotiations scheduled for 6 p.m. last night until 10 a.m. this morning. The meeting will again be held at Rendell’s Philadelphia office inside the Bellevue.

Both sides yesterday said Rendell played a big role in successful negotiations Saturday evening that didn’t end until 10 p.m. — well into the late innings of Game 3 of the World Series.

A spokesman for the governor said Rendell would be present this morning when negotiations resume, adding that last night’s meeting was not postponed because of Game 4.

Transit Workers Union Local 234 President Willie Brown said both sides needed extra time to get ready for the last hurdle: wages and pension funding.

“Health benefits are a done deal. They’ll remain status quo,” Brown said. “We’re still going back and forth on the wages and pension.”

Bill Stanton and three friends were among the 8,000 Phillies fans who took the subway to the game last night just happy they didn’t have to drive.

“They gave us the opportunity to visit a couple Center City bars,” said Stanton, who took SEPTA regional rail in the afternoon before catching to subway from City Hall last night.

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