LIRR contract talks end early; strike talk grows

LIRR contract talks end early; strike talk grows

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NEW YORK (AP) - A union leader says a strike next month is more likely after talks with the management of the Long Island Rail Road ended abruptly Friday.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and union leaders met for less than two hours before negotiations ended.

Christopher Natale of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen says his members are preparing for a strike.

The MTA said this week it has offered a 17 percent wage increase over seven years. Its earlier offer called for an 11 percent hike over six years.

The unions are pushing for a 17 percent increase over six years.

The MTA offer also seeks concessions including requiring current employees to contribute 2 percent of regular pay toward health care costs.

A strike could come as early as July 20.

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