LIRR Unions Announce Strike, No Further Negotiations Planned

A representative of the LIRR unions has made the following statement after negotiations broke off on Monday.

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New York, NY - July 15, 2014 - I regret to report that negotiations have collapsed with MTA, and all eight unions are now proceeding with strike plans for July 20.
MTA rejected the counter offer we presented last Thursday. They presented no counter proposal. They continue to insist that the unions agree to a contract worth less than the value of the compromise recommendations of two Presidential Emergency Boards.
MTA has clearly decided that provoking a strike is the course of action it intends to pursue. No further negotiations are scheduled.
The strike will begin 12:01 am this Sunday. Riders should be aware that the winding down of service will begin well before then, perhaps as early as Wednesday, as the railroad needs to secure its equipment.
The strike will be limited to Long Island Rail Road. It will not affect Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, Metro-North, or PATH. Joint entrances will not be picketed.
Make no mistake about it. The timing of this strike, with its devastating impact on Long Island's summer season, is MTA's decision. The unions repeated our offer to agree to the requests of the New York Congressional delegation, area residents and businesses to delay the strike until September. MTA would not agree.
The onus of this deadlock is solely on MTA. Two Boards of renowned and experienced arbitrators have recommended a fair compromise settlement. We are willing to accept the recommendations. MTA is not. MTA admitted to us that they know that historically the PEB recommendations are the basis for settlement. They told us they understand that the only way they can break this historical precedent is to take a strike. That is the course that they have chosen.
~Anthony Simon, General Chairman SMART and Coalition Spokesperson