New Jersey Transit and its unions are preparing to go on strike March 13 over pay and health benefits, effectively shutting down train service, crippling the region’s transportation system. The impending strike would make it impossible for New York and New Jersey area commuters to get to work.
The threat of a shutdown is the latest in a five-year dispute over workers’ pay and health insurance benefits. The unions want an 18.4% pay raise over six and a half years; NJ Transit has offered a 10.9% raise over seven years.
“Prepare yourself economically,” the New Jersey Transit Rail Coalition told its 4,200 members in a newsletter issued Friday. “At 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, March 13, every union on New Jersey Transit will strike if no agreement is reached.”
“NJ Transit is actively involved in developing a robust alternative service plan in the event the unions call a strike,” said Dennis Martin, NJ Transit’s interim executive director. “We are working with our regional partners, including NJDOT, to provide as much service as possible to our customers.”