SMART Announces June 21 Rally in LIRR Dispute
The International Association of Sheet, Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers and its allied unions on the Long Island Rail Road invite members of organized labor and their family, friends and supporters to a “LIRR Labor Rally” on Saturday, June 21, at 11 a.m. at the Massapequa Train Station.
SMART Transportation Division GO 505 General Chairperson Anthony Simon said the purpose of the rally is to demonstrate the resolve of affected LIRR employees in achieving the recommendations of Presidential Emergency Board 245.
In a ruling delivered May 20, PEB 245 found decisively in favor of the unions in their ongoing dispute with New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority over wages, work rules and pension reforms.
In its report, the board notes that “the lack of notice and bargaining on substantial issues in the Carrier’s final offer is of significant concern … The Unions’ final offer, on the other hand, represents a reasonable balance addressing the priorities of both parties … It is noteworthy that the Unions’ assertion that real wage increases for LIRR employees, absent inflation, have not increased at all since 1991, was not challenged by the Carrier.”
The PEB report set in motion a final 60-day cooling off period. If no agreement is reached during that time, SMART and the other unions are legally allowed to strike July 19 under provisions of the Railway Labor Act.
However, Simon told New York’s Newsday May 27 that SMART would be willing to extend by 60 days, or until mid-September, any strike on the railroad.
“Our members care about Long Island and its economy,” said Simon, adding that a strike could harm summer tourism-based businesses. “All we would need is the MTA to mutually agree on the extension.”
SMART’s coalition partners include the Transportation Communications Union, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers-Service Employees International Union.
To print a rally flyer, click here.