Union chief vows to keep negotiating as New York commuter rail strike looms

Associated Press

The chief negotiator for unions at the nation's largest commuter railroad is vowing to keep working toward a deal that would avoid a strike.

Anthony Simon says the unions will do everything in their power to prevent New York's Long Island Rail Road from grinding to a halt at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.

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The unions and the LIRR are set for a second day of renewed negotiations Thursday. They held a session Wednesday at the urging of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo (KWOH'-moh) after two days of increased tension and bleak prospects for resolution.

Cuomo says everything must be done to prevent 300,000 daily riders "from being held hostage by a strike."

The railroad's 5,400 unionized workers haven't had a contract since 2010.

The state comptroller says a strike could cost the economy $50 million a day.


Blidner reported from New York.