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Two NJ Transit rail unions reject contract that avoided strike

Two unions representing New Jersey Transit's conductors and locomotive engineers have voted against ratifying recently negotiated labor agreements.

Reached March 13, the tentative agreements averted a strike that would have shut down the agency's commuter-rail system.

Both ratifications failed by narrow margins, NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said via email.

"Although NJ Transit is disappointed in these two rejections, it is heartened that all 14 other unions ratified their contracts by significant majorities," Snyder said. "These 14 contracts have been finally approved by the board of NJ Transit and are now final and in effect."

The United Transportation Union's C&T division and the NJ Transit Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen were the two unions that rejected the contracts.

The two dissenting unions have the right, under the Federal Railway Labor Act, to request the resumption of negotiations, NJ Transit's Snyder said. Per earlier agreements, there is an additional 60-day "cooling off" period in effect now that precludes strikes or lockouts, she added.

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