Thursday, 17 July 2014 00:00
It’s been two decades since the LIRR went on strike back in 1994. Thankfully, it was resolved relatively quickly with the work stoppage starting on a Friday night, being settled the next day with trains up and running by that Sunday evening. With the gulf between the MTA and eight unions seemingly insurmountable, the LIRR’s roughly 300,000 daily commuters will wind up with the short end of the stick. While it would be easy to criticize LIRR workers for not accepting a 17 percent raise over seven years and a requirement to pay toward health costs (new employees would contribute towards health and pension costs), management has neglected to negotiate a contract since the last one expired in 2010. At the end of the day, most local businesses (save cab companies) will suffer and workers unable to telecommute or find alternative means of transit may well end up losing time off or in some instances, employment. All of which does not bode well for an economy struggling to get back on its feet. Regardless of where the dust settles, it’ll be the taxpayer that winds up paying the fare.
—Dave Gil de Rubio