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President Obama's Board Backs Unions Again In LIRR Labor Talks

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A White House-appointed mediation panel has rejected an MTA proposal for a Long Island Rail Road union contract, the second time a board appointed by President Barack Obama has sided with the union.

The three-member Presidential Emergency Board issued its nonbinding resolution on Tuesday, calling the union's proposal of a 17 percent pay hike over six years a "reasonable'' solution and rejecting the MTA's 11 percent offer, WCBS 880's Mike Xirinachs reported.

President Obama's Board Backs Unions Again In LIRR Labor Talks

MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg said the agency was "disappointed'' with the board's ruling.

Members of the Sheet Metal, Air and Transportation Union, the railroad's largest union, voted to strike in February. Smaller LIRR unions have approved similar votes to walk off the job.

LIRR unions could strike in July. They've been without a contract since 2010.

A union spokesman says they will "work hard to prevent any inconvenience to riders.''

The railroad carries 300,000 daily commuters.

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