The IAM has requested the National Mediation Board (NMB) release the IAM from mediated contract talks with the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). If granted, a release would trigger a 30-day “cooling off” period. If an agreement still cannot be reached during that time, either party may engage in self-help.
The Long Island Railroad Labor Bargaining Coalition (LIRRLBC), comprised of IAM District Lodge 19, the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS), the Independent Foreman’s Union and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), began negotiations with the LIRR in February 2010. In September 2010 the IAM applied for federal mediation in an attempt to reach a settlement. After nine separate rounds of bargaining, the parties have been unable to reach an accord.
“The LIRR has taken a hardline in negotiations, demanding concessions in work rules, increased health care costs and meager wage increases that will not permit our members to keep up with the cost of living,” said District 19 President and Directing General Chairman Jeff Doerr. “We issued a fair counterproposal in March of this year and, to date, the LIRR has not responded.”
The IAM represents hundreds of mechanics at the LIRR who maintain the trains to ensure the safety of thousands of passengers each day. The IAM and its other labor coalition partners represent 25 percent of the LIRR workforce.