Multiple media outlets are reporting that the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and unions bargaining on behalf of employees of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) have returned to the bargaining table at the urging of Governor Andrew Cuomo. As widely reported earlier this week, the unions are planning to call a labor strike as early on Sunday morning if an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement is not reached by midnight this coming Saturday. In a statement, the MTA emphasized that it remained committed to avoiding a labor strike and reaching a deal.
“The only way to prevent a strike is for both sides to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement at the bargaining table,” the MTA said. “We have asked the LIRR unions to resume negotiations immediately.”
For their part, anxious riders are hoping for a resolution. A strike would strand almost 300,000 daily commuters. With no reasonable alternative of getting to work, the economic impact of a labor shutdown could be disastrous. We will keep you posted as this story continues to develop.