Update July 14 at 2:10 PM: From Newsday, Negotiations between the LIRR unions and the MTA “have collapsed,” according to the unions, which are “now proceeding with strike plans.”
The MTA on Monday rejected a counteroffer from the unions and “presented no counter proposal,” lead union negotiator Anthony Simon said in a statement.
“MTA has clearly decided that provoking a strike is the course of action it intends to pursue,” Simon said, adding that no further negotiations are scheduled.
As the owner of a small business operating within the Long Island – New York City corridor, a potential Long Island Rail Road strike stirs thoughts of the impact it would have on the regions economy!
What might the economic hit be particularly occurring so soon after superstorm Sandy took her toll?
And, despite the strike deadline looming large on on July 20th, at the present time negotiations do not seem to be particularly urgent as ‘talks on Friday and Saturday were described as informal. And a return to the negotiating table was scheduled for Monday — six full days ahead of the deadline of 12:01 a.m. on July 20, when the unions can legally strike under federal law‘ (Source).
From an article in Newsday, Long Island’s home newspaper, here are some snippets of statistics, potential outcomes and expected economic ramifications of a LIRR strike.
A work stoppage on the Long Island Rail Road would follow major economic hits from superstorm Sandy in 2012 and the housing collapse and Great Recession that began in 2007, crises that continue to have aftershocks here.
Thirty percent of Nassau County residents and 11 percent of Suffolk County residents commute to jobs in New York City, and one-third of them take the LIRR, according to estimates from Regional Plan Association, a think tank based in Manhattan.
For delis, dry cleaners, newsstands, restaurants and other small businesses that cater to LIRR riders — whether they be commuters or tourists — a strike of even a few days would be devastating.
The Island’s $5.6 billion tourism industry could be hard hit, said Irwin L. Kellner, chief economist for the MarketWatch.com financial information service. New York City residents and other vacationers wouldn’t be able to easily reach Island beaches.
Small business owners catering to commuters worry that a strike would bring their operations to a standstill.
Delis, restaurants, dry cleaners and other businesses in more than 70 business districts within walking distance of LIRR stations rely heavily on purchases from commuters, said Eric Alexander, executive director of Vision Long Island, a nonprofit community planning group.
Concerns about the impact of a strike on Long Island’s $5.6 billion tourism industry are focused on destinations such as Long Beach and Fire Island, many of whose visitors travel by train — and both of which are still recovering from superstorm Sandy.
A walkout would be expensive for rail commuters who dare to drive, easily costing three or four times what they are accustomed to spending — and possibly more.
$1 in every $4 of income earned by Long Islanders comes from employment in New York City
More than $26 billion is brought home to Long Island by commuters: $18.9 billion to Nassau, $7.6 billion to Suffolk
One third of the Island’s 269,400 commuters to New York City use the LIRR.
Jobs in Manhattan pay almost double the median wage per year as those on Long Island: $101,000 compared with $53,000.
Written by Michael Haltman, President of Hallmark Abstract Service, New York.
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