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Letter: LIRR mediation hurts riders

A White House-appointed mediation panel rejected an MTA

A White House-appointed mediation panel rejected an MTA proposal for a Long Island Rail Road union contract for the second time, calling labor leaders' offer of a 17 percent, six-year pact a "reasonable" solution. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Mindboggling! What planet is the Presidential Emergency Board 245 on to recommend a plan that includes an employee health care contribution of 1 percent, rising to an astronomical 2.25 percent in the sixth year ["Mediators back LIRR unions," News, May 21]?

I had to read that twice to make sure a digit wasn't missing; 10 percent would be a reasonable starting point. And then no changes in contributions for retiree health coverage, for pension benefits or in any work rules.

Sure, let the 300,000 daily riders continue to pay ridiculous fares! And what about the 17 percent raises over six years? Eleven percent was good enough for the Transport Workers Union, but not good enough here. This has got to stop.

It has gotten so bad that riders like me need a second job just to pay to get to the first job. And to top it off, the union could strike in July. Is there no end to this nonsense?

Preston F. Holod, Rockville Centre