goingyourway.jpgHundreds of thousands of commuters can breathe a sigh of relief today as a threatened strike by Amtrak workers has been avoided. A strike would have shut down Penn Station, diverting travelers on the Long Island Rail Road, Amtrak lines, and New Jersey Transit to subways and the PATH system. The city was already preparing contingency plans to have LIRR riders disembark in Brooklyn, and Jamaica Station and Woodside in Queens to take the subway. NJ Transit riders would be shunted to Hoboken, where they could board PATH trains to Manhattan. The chairman of a LIRR commuters group said "It is going to be worse than a nightmare - it will be a complete horror show."

Amtrak conceded to the demands of nine unions, however, which have been working without a contract since 1999. The unions were demanding a one-third increase in pay and back wages for nearly the last ten years. Final details have not been released and probably won't be until the new contract is ratified by union members, but it's being reported that back wages averaging almost $13,000 per employee are part of the agreement.

Going your way, by Triborough at flickr