NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- Talks between New Jersey Transit and its labor unions have broken down.

NJ Transit train at Hamilton Station (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)

The Record reports the unions have been working without a contract for four years.

Now, to avoid a strike, President Barack Obama must create a three-member board to keep the sides talking. The negotiations include all 17 of NJ Transit's unions representing more than 4,000 workers.

On Monday, the National Mediation Board agreed with the unions' request to release them from talks.

A three-member board would have 120 days to hammer out an agreement. If that doesn't happen, a second board could be empaneled that would have another 120 days.

If an agreement isn't made by then, Congress could step in and impose a new contract.


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