Potential Metro-North strike averted after MTA, workers reach tentative agreement

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By Dan Sears

About 600 Metro-North workers have reached a tentative agreement with the MTA after years without a contract, averting a potential strike on the commuter rail line.

The Transport Workers Union of America, which represents the workers, announced the deal Friday in a post on X, formerly Twitter. Train mechanics, inspectors, cleaners, and cabinet makers in TWU Locals 2001 and 2055 haven’t had a contract since 2019, according to the union.

“This agreement is economically favorable to our members at Metro-North and achieves our goals,” TWU International President John Samuelsen told Gothamist in a statement. “Our members can now fully focus on what they do best, providing uninterrupted quality service to [Metro-North] riders.”

The agreement is retroactive — running from September 2019 through October 2023 — and includes a 9.5% wage hike and annual allowances of $500 for tools, a TWU spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that an MTA demand that the transit authority be allowed to open the contract at any time was a major point of contention and not included in the final settlement.

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The MTA confirmed a tentative agreement was reached “through a successful collective bargaining process,” but did not provide specifics in a statement Friday.

In her own statement, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she was pleased the parties had reached a deal that “allows this critical service to keep moving forward.” She also did not offer details on the agreement, which still must be ratified by the affected union members.

In recent months, the TWU had warned commuters about a potential strike in the event it was unable to reach a contract with the MTA. Members handed out fliers at Grand Central Terminal and took out full-page ads in local newspapers and TV stations to press their cause.

According to the union spokesperson, a new contract for future years will need to be negotiated soon since the agreement announced Friday is retroactive.

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