NJ Transit commuters struggle to find their way home after rail service closes due to union dispute

NEW JERSEY (WABC) – Commuters were sent to look for a way home on a busy Friday night after the NJ Transit train closed.

The last train out of Penn Station was at 20.05

“I thought I would catch the next train – there are too many people here, everyone is standing by the road. All the cars are full,” said Mirza Razzaq.

Razzaq got on his last train out of Penn Station, but he got off without realizing what was happening.

“I was on the New Jersey Transit app, it said there were trains after that – 3883. I’ll be back, they’re all canceled,” he added.

Dozens of trains were canceled during the day on Friday when Penn Station was full of frustration.

NJ Transit says that the number of engineering calls today has almost tripled on an average weekday.

“NJ Transit became aware of a rumor late yesterday that the locomotive engineers̵[ads1]7; union, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLE & T), could potentially launch an illegal job campaign today,” the spokesman said. “With today’s calls from engineers at almost three times the speed of an average weekday, it’s clear that this is the result of an illegal job action. NJ Transit is disappointed that the union would carry out such an action on the more than 100,000 commuters. “on NJ Transit rail service every day. We intend to explore all remedies in response to this illegal and irresponsible act.”

NJ Transit believes it is the result of an ongoing union negotiations with the brotherhood of locomotive engineers and trainmen. The only union of 15, NJ Transit, that has not signed the new collective agreement that would have included Juneteenth as a public holiday – meaning members will not receive holiday pay on Friday.
The union has not responded to Eyewitness News’ request for comment.

NJ Transit says it will investigate all remedies in response to this illegal and irresponsible act, adding that it is disappointed that the union would maintain such an action on the more than 100,000 commuters who depend on the NJ Transit train service every day. .

Passenger groups say they sympathize with the union.

“What they should have done was tell people yesterday that they went on strike, do not do this during the day like a game strike and strand people. That’s not how you win support with passengers,” Charlton D’Souza told Passengers United.

There were riders who were willing to endure what they call a disadvantage.

“I’m not happy that they are on strike, but just give them what they want, for God’s sake,” said rider Amr Ahmad, “If it’s to the benefit of the employees, then I’m good at being canceled.”

A new mediation session is planned for next week.

READ ALSO | Experts encourage swimming lessons, water safety to prevent children from drowning

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