Author Topic: How union muscle keeps expensive rules, high fares in place on LIRR  (Read 84 times)

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Offline Kamaji

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How union muscle keeps expensive rules, high fares in place on LIRR

By Nolan Hicks
January 23, 2023

The Long Island Rail Road’s costly work rules remain in force — despite repeated calls for reform — due to the tremendous clout held by its militant unions, and fears of a strike angering all-important suburban voters, say current and former MTA insiders.

A seven-month investigation published this month revealed the true toll of these rules: They force the MTA to charge commuters some of the highest fares in the nation and they dramatically limit the service the LIRR can run, meaning longer waits for trains and more crowded conditions aboard.

Despite the sorry state of the rails, as one former MTA executive told The Post: “Nobody is going to poke the bear here because Long Island is the most important voter constituency for a governor.”

Rail workers are among a select group of state employees who retain the right to strike thanks to federal law — and they’ve walked off the job dozens of times since Albany took over the LIRR in the 1960s.

One tally kept by the LIRR’s electricians union counted 42 work stoppages — both legal and illegal — between 1960 and 1995. That’s almost a strike per year, some of which became so nasty they required intervention from the White House and Capitol Hill.

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