MTA and LIRR Unions Trade Verbal Swipes

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With the strike clock ticking, the MTA and Long Island Railroad union representatives are intensifying their rhetoric. The two sides resumed bargaining on Wednesday at the urging of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but not before exchanging verbal shots.

The authority aired an ad critical of the union, which began, "Unionized Long Island Railroad workers are the best paid in the nation. They make almost $90,000 a year, get free health care and generous pensions."

Anthony Simon, a spokesman for the unions, called the ad "a disgrace" and a waste of money. He also pointed out in a statement that the unions "have accepted the compromise recommendations of two Presidential Emergency Boards," while the MTA has not.

The railroad carries about 300,000 riders per weekday. Both sides said they're trying to avert a strike before a 12:01 a.m. deadline this Sunday.