SYOSSET, New York (PIX11) – On Wednesday night, LIRR union members took another step toward a strike. The railroad’s largest union, SMART, gave authorization to the general chairman of SMART to authorize a strike if the time should come.
The vote was a resounding 500-to-0 in favor of the proposal at the American Legion in Massapequa.
The vote gave the general chairman the authority to strike if the time should come with the support of a unanimous vote which could happen March 21st.
Workers are fighting for a contract and say they’ve been without one for three years.
In a statement, the MTA said:
“While the action announced today is a routine procedural step in the absence of a new agreement, the MTA remains hopeful we can reach a negotiated settlement. Both parties are in a mandatory 60-day cooling-off period after the MTA rejected the recommendations of the first Presidential Emergency Board, which did not take our financial condition or our customers’ sacrifices into account”.
The MTA has until the end of March to request a second Presidential Emergency Board to consider those vital factors, which would delay any further labor action until late July at the earliest, a spokesperson said.