As we reported briefly yesterday, leaders of the labor unions representing employees of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) announced that they planned to strike this coming Sunday.  A last ditch effort at negotiating a labor settlement with the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) broke down after barely 45 minutes yesterday, leading to the call to strike. 

“I regret to report that negotiations have collapsed with the MTA, and all eight unions are now proceeding with strike plans for July 20,” United Transportation Union President Anthony Simon said in a press release after the meeting. “MTA has clearly decided that provoking a strike is the course of action it intends to pursue. No further negotiations are scheduled.”

During talks, union heads have made it known that they are looking for 17% raises for their constituents over a six-year period.  The most recent counter-proposal from the MTA would grant the workers a 17% raise over seven years, but would also require the employees to pay their own health care costs, which was unacceptable to the unions.

As noted yesterday, an LIRR strike would strand approximately 300,000 daily commuters.  No new talks are currently scheduled.