THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT ON THE LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD STRIKE
For commuters who depend on the Long Island Rail Road to commute to work, it is regrettable that the talks between the Rail Road and the United Transportation Union have not been successful in averting a strike. In an effort to bring the parties together I appointed two Presidential Emergency Boards and, late Wednesday night, Secretaries Reich and Pena helped persuade both sides to stay at the bargaining table for another 24 hours.
It is important now that the parties get back to the table, with the continued assistance of the National Mediation Board, and engage in serious round-the-clock negotiations to end the strike. I have instructed the Secretaries of Labor and Transportation to closely monitor the situation and report back to me.
In addition, I have directed the Department of Transportation to assist local authorities in providing appropriate assistance to the traveling public.
I understand that members of the New York Congressional delegation are drafting legislation to deal with this situation which I have asked the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Transportation to review. I will continue to confer with Governor Cuomo, the Congressional leadership and the New York Congressional delegation over the weekend to ensure that we are doing everything possible to help end this dispute. While important issues are at stake, the economic health of the region and the interests of the rail passengers must be protected.