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Jul
2014
18

NY Gov. Cuomo’s Intervention Helped Prevent LIRR Strike, Deal Specifics Remain Limited

NY Gov. Cuomo is getting a good deal of credit for averting an LIRR strike (Richard Drew/AP)

NY Gov. Cuomo is getting a good deal of credit for averting an LIRR strike (Richard Drew/AP)


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After four years without a contract and months of jockeying for public support, leading unions and the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) reached a deal to avoid a July 20th strike which would have shut down the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s intervention sealed the deal.

Cuomo called the agreement “a compromise by both parties.” The unions received a 17 percent raise over six years in exchange for a 2 percent contribution towards their health coverage.

Following the announcement of the deal, MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast said, “Both sides have compromised to reach an agreement that gives our employees the raises they deserve while also providing for the MTA’s long-term financial stability.”

Earlier this week the state comptroller’s office projected a shutdown of the LIRR would have cost the state $450 million a day.

In total, eight unions representing 5,400 workers are covered under the tentative agreements with the MTA. Complete details have yet to be released, but International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) President Joseph Nigro said in a statement:

“Members at the Long Island Rail Road, along with their brothers and sisters at allied Unions, have finally attained a hard earned and fair contract that will avoid a management provoked disaster for workers, communities and commuters in New York.

These members have sacrificed much during these past five years while never faltering in servicing the traveling public with their unmatched professionalism and dedication. This is not a fight they chose but, nevertheless, they fought tooth and nail to ensure a fair contract to fulfill the fair day’s pay for the fair day’s work they contribute day in and day.”

Officials say that the deal will not cause MTA fees to rise for commuters.

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