Anthony Simon, general chairman of the United Transportation Union, left, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Thomas Prendergast, right, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo share a collective hand shake after a tentative labor agreement for the Long Island Rail Road was reached.
Penn Station at rush hour is a din of train roars and the constant barking of a metallic PA system. A wall of commuters watch the boards to see what track their train comes in on. Once the train is called there is a mad rush down the stairs to find a seat.
In past strikes all 300,000 of these commuters would crowd the highways and bridges into Manhattan. Either that or risk losing their jobs. But there is a big difference between the last strike in 1994 and this week.
“Today we have laptops. So I'm working from home for the whole strike.”
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.