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Yesterday, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Prendergast sent a letter to leaders of Congress asking if they intend to intervene in the ongoing labor dispute between MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and eight labor unions. The unions represent 5,400 LIRR employees, who have threatened to strike as early as July 20 if they are unable to reach a labor agreement with MTA officials. The authority has made "three increasingly lucrative contract offers" to the unions, who are "unwilling to work constructively with the MTA to resolve the dispute because they believe Congress will intervene," according to an MTA press release. However, union officials argue that MTA has demanded benefit cuts and other concessions from workers, and has rejected recommendations from two Presidential Emergency Boards. Prendergast is traveling to Washington, D.C., today to discuss the MTA's position with congressional members and seek clarification of the role Congress intends to play in the dispute, according to the authority.
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