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3/11/2005



Rail News: Labor

Negotiations with carriers stall over ground rules, rail labor union coalition says



The Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition (RLBC) and National Carriers Conference Committee (NCCC) recently held a second bargaining session, which ended after both sides failed to agree on ground rules governing negotiations. The parties are trying to negotiate a new national agreement on wages and work rules.

Comprising seven rail labor unions representing 85,000 workers, the coalition proposed the ground rules at the first bargaining session in January, RLBC officials said in a prepared statement. The proposed rules called for identifying who represented each side and who would participate in negotiations, scheduling bargaining sessions, establishing negotiation locations and bargaining provisions, and finalizing contract language and a ratification process for a negotiated contract. The NCCC bargains on behalf of 30 U.S. railroads, including the five Class Is.

"By refusing to even discuss the … rules, the rail carriers have gotten these negotiations off on the wrong track," said RLBC Coordinator George Francisco, who also serves as president of coalition member National Conference of Firemen & Oilers. "These ground rules are an attempt to clarify the process in which seven rail unions are bargaining in concert."

The unions formed RLBC in January to develop a coordinated contract negotiating strategy. The coalition's other members are the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen divisions of the Teamsters Rail Conference; Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen; Sheet Metal Workers International Association; International Brotherhood of Boilermakers; and American Train Dispatchers Association.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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