July 17, 2014
By Marc Bussanich
New York, NY—With less than four days to go before 5,000 Long Island Railroad workers go on strike, LIRR commuters said they hope that Governor Andrew Cuomo steps in to help resolve the impasse between the MTA and the unions.
Speaking with commuters at the entrance to the LIRR at Penn Station, all said a strike would make traveling to and from the city very frustrating.
Brent, who relies on the LIRR everyday to get to work, said Governor Cuomo should step in.
“My understanding is that these negotiations have been going on for a long time. I think that for it to have gone this far and not have reached a settlement, you have to look at both parties.”
Another commuter, Billy, relies on the LIRR to get to his job at the NY Sports Club in Times Square from Islip. He too hopes Gov. Cuomo helps to resolve the dispute.
“I sure hope so.”
Jim Zimmerman also relies on the LIRR five times a week to get to the city. He believes the governor should weigh in.
“I think it would be good for the governor to get involved. He might be able to bring the two parties together. I think it would behoove the governor to do that.”
Pritpal Singh uses the LIRR three days per week to get to work in Manhattan. He believes the governor should have gotten involved earlier.
“I think he needs to step in right now, this minute. He needed to step in last week. This is pretty serious for all us. I’m hearing that if there is a strike, there’ll be something like $50 million in economic losses per day.”
The governor released a statement to the press in the morning calling on both sides to get back to the negotiating table.
“Both the MTA and the LIRR unions need to put the interests of New Yorkers first by returning to the table today and working continuously to avoid a strike,” said the Governor.
The LIRR unions also issued a statement in the morning, addressing it to the riding public.
“We deeply regret that the MTA’s irresponsible actions will cause a strike beginning this weekend. The unions representing Long Island workers have done all in our power to reach a reasonable settlement in four years of bargaining. We have made counter-offers that address MTA demands, but every time the MTA just moves the ball.”