Christie vows to take action if NJ Transit workers miss work

Posted: Updated:
NORTH BRUNSWICK -

Gov. Chris Christie says he will take "every action that is necessary" to make sure New Jersey Transit train engineers show up for work after dozens of trains were canceled earlier this week because of a manpower shortage.

Christie addressed the trains canceled earlier this week at an unrelated event Thursday in North Brunswick.

He says that he thinks the reason for the delays was "people not showing up to work" and that it was likely a coordinated effort.

“My suspicion is fed by the fact that once we threatened legal action, then all of a sudden we only have one canceled train. As opposed to eight or nine the day before,” Christie said. “So I don’t know. There might be a coincidence, we'll see.”

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers slammed NJ Transit for blaming the manpower shortage on them and "portraying them in a negative light." They say that the agency needs to hire up to 30 more engineers to cover all shifts. The union says that in the short term, NJ Transit should lengthen some eight-hour shifts to 10 or 11 hours.

Commuters tell News 12 New Jersey that they don’t care who is to blame, but that they want the delays to stop. Christie says that they will.

“I don’t think we’ll have any further problems,” he says. “And if we do, I will take every action necessary to make sure people show up at the job they’re being paid to do.”

This week's cancellations came during the second week of extensive repairs at New York Penn Station that already have affected service for hundreds of thousands.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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