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Cuomo: Rail strike would hold commuters 'hostage' - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Cuomo: Rail strike would hold commuters 'hostage'

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - After days of avoiding the fray, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is urging unions and transportation managers to restart negotiations to avert a strike on the nation's largest commuter railroad.

The Democratic governor says Wednesday that a Long Island Rail Road strike would hold riders "hostage." He told the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and unions representing 5,400 rail workers to "put the interests of New Yorkers first" by ending the standoff.

Until Wednesday, Cuomo had publicly distanced himself from the negotiations, saying he "would see how it goes" before intervening.

Unions threaten to strike at 12:01 a.m. Sunday unless they get a new contract.

State comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says a strike could cost up to $50 million in lost economic activity each day. The LIRR has nearly 300,000 daily riders.

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