The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and Transportation Communications Union (TCU), part of a coalition of 13 unions representing more than 4,000 workers at New Jersey Transit, have reached a tentative contract agreement with the commuter rail carrier.
The deal avoids a strike that would have shut down the nation’s third-largest commuter railroad at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, March 13th.
“A strike was always the last option for New Jersey Transit workers, who have waited almost five years for a fair contract,” said IAM Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “I’d like to thank the membership of the IAM and TCU, and the entire Union Coalition, for their dogged determination and solidarity. Now, they will collectively decide whether this deal is acceptable or not.”
A strike would have been the first work stoppage at New Jersey Transit in 33 years. Numerous New Jersey politicians, including U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), called on New Jersey Transit to come to terms with its labor force before an impending strike.
“IAM and TCU members and the entire New Jersey Transit Rail Labor Coalition deserve commendation for their solidarity through this painstakingly long process,” said TCU National President Bob Scardelletti. “Today’s tentative agreement is only because of their unity and solidarity, and now subject to an up or down vote.”
The tentative agreement will be subject to a full membership vote to be held within the coming weeks.
Details of the accord will be posted on www.goiam.org as they become available.