Local senators are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to help resolve the contract dispute between the MTA and Long Island Rail Road workers in order to prevent a devastating LIRR strike.
Sen. Jack Martins, R-Mineola, along with Sen. Carl Marcellino, R-Syosset, and Sen. Kemp Hannon, R-Garden City, stopped by the Hicksville train station on Wednesday to say it's time Cuomo intervene. Federal law allows the LIRR workers, who have been without a contract since 2010, to legally walk off the job as early as July 20, officials said.
"Over 300,000 Long Island commuters and their families deserve answers," Martins said. "With the MTA and the unions unable to come to terms and a strike looming right around the corner, commuters will be stranded with devastating consequences to residents, workers and New York's economy."
"The Governor, as the state's Chief Executive, needs to do everything he can to bring both parties together to resolve their differences at a negotiating table in good faith, not on a picket line," he added. "He's done it before, and must do it again for North America's busiest commuter railroad, before there's a crippling labor strike that will throw Long Island into chaos. We Long Islanders deserve nothing less."
The senators point to Cuomo resolving a 27-month contract dispute between the MTA and the Transit Workers Union. Now, they say Long Island needs Cuomo to "step in, broker a settlement and avert an imminent strike," according to a news release.
The LIRR serves 124 stations in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan, providing service for over 80 million customers each year, officials said. On weekdays, nearly 301,000 commuters ride the 735 daily trains.
“With a strike looming in less than three weeks, it’s crunch time," Martins said. "The window to resolve this without a labor strike is closing rapidly. Long Islanders need the governor to engage now.”