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New Jersey rail strike averted, deal reached

Commuters board the northbound train to NYC from Princeton Junction Station. (Alan Tu/WHYY)

Commuters board the northbound train to NYC from Princeton Junction Station. (Alan Tu/WHYY)

New Jersey Transit and its rail workers have reached a deal to avert a strike that would have thrown Monday’s commute into New York into chaos.

The agency reached a contract Friday with railroad workers who had threatened to walk off the job at 12:01 a.m. Sunday. The settlement culminates a dispute that has been percolating for nearly five years, when the last contract expired.

The unions had been seeking a 2.9 percent annual wage increase over six years plus an increase in health insurance payments from 1.8 percent to 2 percent of straight pay. NJ Transit offered average 1.4 percent wage increases and health insurance payments, rising from 10 percent to 20 percent.

About 105,000 people commute into New York by train each weekday, either on NJ Transit or in combination with PATH.

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