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Re: Amtrak strike will pack Hoboken PATH trains - "Penn Station will be paralyzed"- Planned for Jan.
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Amtrak strike averted

Saturday, January 19, 2008

WASHINGTON - Facing a possible strike that could have stranded hundreds of thousands of commuters, Amtrak reached a preliminary deal yesterday that apparently heavily favors the railroad's nine unions, who have worked for years without a contract.

The tentative contract includes back pay totaling more than three times what Amtrak was offering and none of the concessions on work rules that Amtrak had been seeking, said Joel Parker, a spokesman for the Transportation Communications International Union and a lead negotiator.

While the month's-end strike was considered unlikely, the mere prospect of it had regional rail services across the Eastern Seaboard scrambling in recent days to put backup plans in place.

"We have averted a possible strike that could have had a crippling effect on the lives of millions of Americans," Amtrak President and CEO Alex Kummant said.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., called the deal a relief to millions of travelers.

"I am determined to help get Amtrak funding it might need for next year, but in the meantime, this deal is long overdue after years of unfair bargaining by the administration and Amtrak," he said.

Posted on: 2008/1/19 14:47
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Re: Amtrak strike will pack Hoboken PATH trains - "Penn Station will be paralyzed"- Planned for Jan.
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The passengers lucky enough to find a ride to a PATH station could still face a grueling trip into Manhattan. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates PATH, will not be able to add peak period trains because the system already runs at capacity, said Mark La Vornga, a spokesman for the agency.
This right here is the fundamental flaw with the Port Authority and why they need some real leadership. No system as important as the PATH should ever be running at capacity.

Posted on: 2008/1/18 15:25
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Re: Amtrak strike will pack Hoboken PATH trains - "Penn Station will be paralyzed"- Planned for Jan.
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Amtrak strike would overload PATH

Friday, January 18, 2008
By TOM FEENEY
NEWHOUSE NEWS SERVICE

NJ Transit rail customers would face severe service disruptions if nine unions representing Amtrak workers go on strike as threatened on Jan. 30, NJ Transit Executive Director Richard Sarles warned yesterday.

NJ Transit would not be able to run trains into Manhattan if Amtrak workers strike. The agency would be forced to shut down its busiest rail line, which runs entirely on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor tracks.

NJ Transit would respond to an Amtrak strike by running shuttle buses between its rail stations and the PATH stations in Newark, Harrison and Hoboken, Sarles said after the NJ Transit board's monthly meeting in Atlantic City yesterday. Sarles estimated that it would be able to accommodate only between 40 and 50 percent of the passengers it carries during the typical daily peak period.

The passengers lucky enough to find a ride to a PATH station could still face a grueling trip into Manhattan. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates PATH, will not be able to add peak period trains because the system already runs at capacity, said Mark La Vornga, a spokesman for the agency.

There is available capacity on the ferries that run between Hoboken and midtown Manhattan, and additional boats could be added if an Amtrak strike causes a spike in demand, said Pat Smith, a spokesman for ferry operator New York Waterway.

Posted on: 2008/1/18 15:04
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Re: Amtrak strike will pack Hoboken PATH trains - "Penn Station will be paralyzed"- Planned for Jan.
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You really think they want to take unpaid strike days? The current pay is bad enough without having to miss work.

Posted on: 2008/1/7 22:56
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Re: Amtrak strike will pack Hoboken PATH trains - "Penn Station will be paralyzed"- Planned for Jan.
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"The unions do not want to strike"


Yeah right! Just like the MTA!

Posted on: 2008/1/7 16:05
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Re: Amtrak strike will pack Hoboken PATH trains - "Penn Station will be paralyzed"- Planned for Jan.
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An Amtrak strike would crowd PATH
Monday, January 07, 2008
By JOURNAL STAFF

AND WIRE REPORT

Amtrak could go on strike at the end of the month - which could mean huge crowds on PATH trains.

Since Amtrak owns the tracks heading into New York's Pennsylvania Station, a strike would effectively shut it down - and force NJ Transit trains to stop in Hoboken. That would put tens of thousands of extra commuters onto Manhattan-bound PATH trains.

The strike also would cripple Long Island Rail Road operations.

Amtrak workers haven't had a contract since 2000. On Dec. 1, President Bush set up a five-person emergency board to head off a strike; on Thursday, the board recommended Amtrak employees receive $62 million in back wages and that the railroad drop proposed work rule changes. However, the board's recommendations are non-binding.

A representative for the unions told Newsday on Saturday that "the ball will be in Amtrak's court."

"The unions do not want to strike," said Joel Parker, vice president of the Transportation Communication Union. He added, "The recommendations provide the basis for a settlement."

Posted on: 2008/1/7 11:16
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Amtrak strike will pack Hoboken PATH trains - "Penn Station will be paralyzed"- Planned for Jan. 31
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Amtrak strike will pack Hoboken PATH trains -- "Penn Station will be paralyzed"-- Planned for Jan. 31

http://www.nj.com/hobokennow/

What would an Amtrak strike mean to Hoboken?

by Craig - Hoboken Now
Sunday January 06

Amtrak might go on strike. Why should you care? Because it will have huge ramifications for commuters, even if you never take anything other than PATH or NJ Transit.

According to today's New York Post, Amtrak workers are threatening to walk off the job Jan. 31 at 12:01 a.m. if the railroad can't come to an agreement with its unions. The workers haven't had a contract since 2000.

If that happened, the Post writes, "Penn Station will be paralyzed," because Amtrak owns the Penn Station tracks. Commuters on NJ Transit trains would have to stop in Hoboken and take the PATH into Manhattan, meaning huge crowds in Hoboken Terminal and on the PATH trains.

So now that we've got your attention... what's the status on those negotiations?

In November, President George W. Bush appointed an emergency board to help Amtrak settle the dispute with its nine labor unions. The board proposed the federally-subsidized railroad pay $62 million in back wages and drop proposed work rule changes, the Washington Post reported on Friday. But those recommendations are nonbinding, and neither side has said if they'll agree to them.

===================


'BURBS IN RAIL TROUBLE
AMTRAK STRIKE THREATENS NJ & LI

By LUCY CARNE

January 6, 2008 -- Penn Station will be paralyzed and the rides for nearly 200,000 commuters in the area crippled if there's an Amtrak strike at the end of the month as threatened.

Amtrak workers vow to walk off the job Jan. 31 at 12:01 a.m. if there's no agreement between the government-subsidized railroad and its unions.

If the strike occurs, Long Island Rail Road and NJ Transit service to the city would be all but shut down, since Amtrak owns the Penn Station tracks.

Transit advocates are predicting doomsday for New York rail riders.

"It is going to be worse than a nightmare - it will be a complete horror show. There will be no relief," LIRR Commuters Council chairman Gerry Bringmann said.

"We're looking at more than an hour added to each commute, and then people will be packed like sardines on ice-cold platforms. It's going to put a massive strain on the alternative lines.

"It's insane."

With sources assuring him the strike was "very likely," Bringmann said he was already preparing for the rail woe by scheduling no work after Jan. 31.

"There will be a lot of mental stress and for most of us who commute in the city, our jobs give us enough metal stress, we don't need any additional," he said. "The only thing we have going for us is it might not last too long. Once the strike does happen, there will be pressure to end it pretty quick."

President Bush appointed an emergency board in November to mediate after bargaining between Amtrak and its eight unions came untracked.

It's been seven years since the labor groups representing electricians, machinists and dispatchers last had new contract terms.

On Thursday, the White House recommended a deal similar to the contract approved by the nation's freight railroads last April.

If adopted, the new contract would see wages rise by more than a third and workers get back pay.

But if the dispute can't be resolved, the unions are free under federal law to strike after a three-week cooling-off period.

This would spell major transit headaches for 85,000 LIRR commuters and 70,000 NJ Transit commuters.

"I would have to drive, and that would be a pain," teacher Kimberly Furka, 22, of Densville, LI, said. She said she wouldn't "even bother" to travel to Manhattan during the strike.

Public-affairs worker Yating Liu, 28, of Brooklyn, added, "It's going to cause havoc, just like when the MTA shut down."

Additional reporting by Michelle Kaske

====================

Posted on: 2008/1/6 20:34
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