Worried time is running out, several Long Island State Senators are urging New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to intercede in the stalled contract negotiations between the MTA and Long Island Rail Road workers.
Technically there is no deadline. LIRR workers are legally allowed to strike beginning Sunday, July 20th. However, they previously offered to push that date back to the end of summer where a strike would have more impact. There would be fewer people on vacation, college students would be back on the train, and it's the eve of November's gubernatorial election.
A worker mops the floor in the Long Island Rail Road terminal at New York’s Penn Station, June 17, 1994 in New York. The normally-crowded terminal was clear of morning commuters as the nation’s busiest commuter railroad screeched to halt when workers walked off their jobs at midnight over a pay dispute.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Long Island Rail Road workers failed to reach a deal last week over a four-year contract standoff. Union representatives can begin a strike in three weeks which has commuters on edge.
A coalition of Long Island business leaders, developers, educators, and commuter advocates announced a report Tuesday that tallied the economic benefits of building a third track on the Long Island Rail Road. But despite what many say is a win for Long Island, a third track is still not on the planning boards.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is in the beginning stages of planning bus service in the event of a strike on the Long Island Rail Road this summer. Some, however, see this as a provocation to get the unions to settle their contract dispute.