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Letter: LIRR unions have prevented strike

Penn Station's LIRR terminal in Manhattan is packed

Penn Station's LIRR terminal in Manhattan is packed tight with people on May 24, 2013. Credit: Nancy Borowick

Regarding "Priority 1: Settle LIRR impasse" [Editorial, June 3], is there such a thing as a good time to strike?

Let's set the record straight for all the experts, critics of labor and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The unions have done everything in their power to prevent a strike! Labor has waited out a long and difficult process to finally have the legal right to take the next step.

Union leaders have requested an extension on the final cooling-off period to delay a strike, in an effort to spare riders and summer businesses any hardship, and to allow time for a peaceful resolution. Any accusations about a political agenda just feed the blame game. Local politicians know that Long Island Rail Road unions have always cared about the needs of the public and have acted professionally.

Both sides have had the opportunity to present their cases, and there were compromises from both sides' original offers. It's time for the MTA to accept the expert ruling of six members of two presidential mediation panels and move on.

Anthony Simon, Babylon

Editor's note: The writer is spokesman for a coalition of five of the eight LIRR unions, representing more than 75 percent of the members involved in the contract dispute.