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In an effort to stave off a strike, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) officials resumed contract talks with union leaders yesterday at the urging of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, local news media reported this morning.After contract talks broke off between the parties on Monday, leaders of the eight unions representing LIRR workers indicated a strike was likely to begin on July 20. MTA has since issued a contingency transportation plan for New York City-area commuters. But shortly after Cuomo's call yesterday for both sides to resume talks, the MTA issued a statement asking the unions to return immediately to the bargaining table."The MTA remains committed to resolving this dispute at the bargaining table. As Gov. Cuomo said, a strike would disrupt families and business across the New York metropolitan region, and the only way to prevent a strike is for both sides to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement at the bargaining table," read the statement, which is posted on MTA's website. Anthony Simon, who heads the largest union representing LIRR workers, said the unions "never wanted to leave the table," according to a report in The New York Times.
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