GOP and Democratic Members of Congress Call On MTA To Adhere to PEB

June 25, 2014

letterIt’s not every day that members of the GOP and the Democratic Party agree on anything.  It’s especially rare when they agree to both stand behind union members in a strong show of support. That is what happened this past week when 10 members of New York’s Congressional delegation called upon the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority to adhere to the findings of two Presidential Emergency Boards set up to stop a strike that would affect Long Island commuters. The text of the document is available here.
At a rally this past Saturday, members of congress and local leaders called on the MTA to do the right thing and adhere to to PEB recommendations.
Republican State Assemblyman Joe Saladino told the crowd that all members of the New York State Assembly from Long Island were strongly pro-labor.  “Republicans and Democrats, all of us are unified, because we stand with you,” Saladino said.
Kevan Abrahams, a Democratic Nassau County assemblyman, who is also running for Congress, agreed with Saladino.  “Parties do not matter.  People are what matter.”  Another
According to the process outlined in the Railroad Labor Act of 1926, once the PEB report is submitted, both labor and management must maintain the status quo for an additional 30-day cooling off period, but once the cooling off period is over, each side is free to act in its own economic interest (unless they agree to extend the cooling off period).  This means that management can impose any proposal it wants or force a lock out, and labor can strike.
A strike would be devastating to the Long Island economy, particularly that of eastern Long Island, according to Democratic Congressman Tim Bishop.
“The pillar of the eastern economy is travel and tourism,” Rep. Tim Bishop announced while slamming the MTA for its contingency plan that does nothing but tell people to stay at home in the event of a strike.  “If people stay home and don’t come to Eastern Long Island,” Bishop said, “That’s the death knell of the eastern Long Island economy.