Local businesses say LIRR strike will hurt them, too

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LONG ISLAND (PIX11)-- Commuters are well aware the clock is ticking for them. If there is an LIRR strike, and there are no commuters, for some there is no business on Long Island.

"It would mess us up because we'd lose a lot of people," said Salvatore Merendino.

Merendino's pizzeria is across the street from the Great Neck train station.

If there's a strike by LIRR workers, he won't have nearly as many mouths to feed. The station would be a ghost town.

"They come in, they grab a slice, boom they go," said Merendino

The last LIRR strike was back in June of 1994. Commuters back then said they traveled in chartered school buses without air conditioning for two days.

They remember the LIE was a parking lot, and there was a lot of walking to do.

Mark Epstein is the Chairman of the LIRR Commuter Council and claims, the council which represents riders, hasn't been privy to the MTA contingency planning process. The council wants to give input.

"We want to know what they are" said Epstein.

As the clock ticks on negotiations, commuters are getting more and more frustrated, wondering how many days of service they have left.

The MTA is still working on a contingency plan for riders. Whatever the contingency plan is, the MTA has said, it's not going to replace the LIRR.

Both the unions and the MTA have said they're working at the negation table, and that no one wants a strike.

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