Below is the text of a letter released by the Long Island Federation of Labor:
The Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, fully supports the Long Island Railroad unions in their efforts to negotiate a contract with the MTA. It is essential to all of us that negotiations reach a successful conclusion.
Working families have made substantial sacrifices since the onset of the Great Recession. Layoffs, furloughs, wage freezes, and benefit cutbacks have been common in the public and private sectors of the workforce. All of us have paid a steep price for the greedy and reckless behavior of the financial sector which has undermined pensions, home mortgages and local tax revenues.
The Long Island Railroad unions have gone without an increase for four years. It is time the MTA stops gambling with the local economy and reaches an agreement that reflects the terms of two independent Presidential Emergency Boards. It includes contributions by employees to the cost of benefits looking forward and modest wage increases.
The Long Island Railroad is the backbone of our region’s economic vitality. The MTA’s intransigence is risky and impacts all of us – workers, small businesses and government.
The Executive Board of the Long Island Federation of Labor commits the full support of the organization to the Long Island Railroad unions. The Federation will reach out to elected officials, including Congress and the Governor, and keep lines of communication open as required to help the unions reach a fair agreement. In the event of a strike, the Federation is prepared to supply whatever assistance is needed by the unions.
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