The Long Island Rail Road and local unions have reached a Project Labor Agreement that is expected to reduce the railroad's labor costs.
The $6.5 million savings are tied to seven major construction projects that the LIRR plans to take on over the next five years. Those projects will add 400 to 500 private sector construction jobs on Long Island.
The agreement was negotiated between the LIRR and the Buildings and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, an umbrella organization that represents 20 trade unions.
The state said the new deal includes a no-strike clause on the covered projects, provides opportunities for minorities and women to enter trade union apprentice programs and includes non-discrimination provisions in union hiring hall and job placement practices.
The first project, which still needs MTA board approval, will be for civil and structural work for the LIRR's proposed construction of a second track on its Main Line between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma. The Main Line work is scheduled to get started early next year. The MTA said it has budgeted $137.7 million for this first phase in its 2010-2014 Capital Plan.
The other projects covered by the agreement are: the New Mid-Suffolk Electric Yard ($76.6 million); Hicksville Station Improvements ($55.2 million) and Hicksville North Siding ($37.7 million); Ellison Avenue Bridge Replacement in Mineola ($39.2 million); Great Neck Pocket Track Extension ($25.8 million); Wantagh Station Platform Replacement ($20.7 million); and the Colonial Road Highway Bridge Replacement, also in Great Neck ($9.5 million). The total cost of union labor on those projects was originally estimated at $60.1 million, according to the MTA.