Contract negotiations with New Jersey Transit (NJT) have been ongoing for more than five years. It appears that the only way to resolve IAM members’ effort to gain a fair contract may be to strike NJT. IAM members at NJT are authorized to strike at 12:01 AM, Sunday, March 13th, unless an agreement is reached.
“New Jersey Transit refuses to agree to a fair contract,” said General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “They reject the idea of compensating our members properly for their valuable and critical work.”
The 11-union New Jersey Transit Rail Coalition, including the IAM, adopted PEB 248 as a resolution to the contract dispute and PEB 249 ruled that the Union’s final offer was the “most reasonable.”
Governor Chris Christie recently weighed in stating, “I’m not going to give away the store.”
“Maybe if Chris Christie focused on his job instead of his failed presidential bid these negotiations might be resolved,” continued Pantoja. “Our proposals have been deemed fair by two impartial Presidential Emergency Boards. Christie wants us to accept something less than fair. That won’t happen.”
The Machinists Union has pledged the support of more than 600,000 active and retires members, with a significant amount in the New York metro area.
“You should know that you have the support of more than 600,000 active and retired IAM members and the Grand Lodge’s extensive resources backing you up,” said Pantoja. “Your fight is our fight. “I will be calling on other IAM Local Lodges in the area to join in this fight for fairness against NJT.”
Negotiations are ongoing.