APPS member Eileen Duffey’s statement of support for the Transport Workers Union strikers

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My solidarity with the transit workers is rooted in my deeply held conviction that if we are to build a future worth handing to our children, we need to care about each other and stand together where issues of justice are evident.

Much is said in the media about the inconvenience a strike engenders. Yet, for me, it is clear that a strike is never intended to be convenient.

Transit workers are striking for improved working conditions, including the right to have breaks with sufficient bathroom time. They are striking for decent wages.

As a public school employee, I am deeply aware how my working conditions become my students’ learning conditions. When I see these transit workers, I recognize that their working conditions become the conditions under which hundreds of thousands of citizens are transported across the city each day. There is no “us and them.”

As Martin Luther King told us, our lives are inextricably linked. When I see the transit workers, I see my neighbor. I see the parent or grandparent of my students.
The conditions under which SEPTA employees work need to be the conditions under which I would want my own adult children to work and under which I can hopefully see my young public school students work one day. Otherwise, my life’s work is a sham. Their conditions, today; our children’s conditions tomorrow- inextricably linked.