Willie Brown, head of SEPTA's largest union, steps down
Willie Brown has stepped down as president of the Transport Workers Union Local 234 this week.
Driving the news: Brown has transitioned to a role directing the Transit, Universities, Utilities, and Services Division for the national Transport Workers Union of America, Local 234 spokesperson Jamie Horwitz told Axios. He was elected to the position in August.
- Brian Pollitt, executive vice president of Local 234, will take over as union president.
Context: Brown, a former trolley operator with a bruising negotiating style, was first elected to lead Local 234 in 2008.
- He oversaw SEPTA's largest union during two strikes in 2009 and 2016, and he most recently negotiated a new contract with the transit agency in October to avoid a work stoppage.
- Brown has referred to himself as the "most hated man in Philadelphia."
Between the lines: In his new role, Brown will still be involved in dealings with the city's transit agency.
- He'll help negotiate transit contracts for Transport Workers Union of America members and contribute to public policy, Horwitz said.
Of note: The union's transit division represents bus and train operators, engineers, cleaners and other workers in public transit systems throughout the country, including in Philadelphia and New York City.
What's ahead: Pollitt, a former bus operator, will focus on bringing solidarity to Local 234 and preparing for the next round of SEPTA contract negotiations, which are less than two years away, Horwitz said.
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