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Monday, September 23, 2013    

Temporary restraining order ends BLET's strike against Wheeling & Lake Erie


Late Friday afternoon, a U.S. district court issued a temporary restraining order, ending a strike launched that morning by more than 100 Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Co. (W&LE) locomotive engineers and conductors represented by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET).

The strike was triggered by the railroad's repudiation of collective bargaining agreements that cover the crafts of locomotive engineers and conductors, use of supervisors to perform the work of the engineers and trainmen, and failure to abide longstanding crew consist agreements by performing single-person operations, BLET officials said in a press release.

The U.S. district court judge ordered the workers to refrain from any self-help exercise or job action against the railroad. But the judge conditioned the temporary restraining order on the W&LE's agreement not to use supervisors or other management employees in place of engineers or conductors, BLET officials said.

The order will remain in effect until a hearing can be held on the railroad's request for a longer-term injunction.

"I hope that the condition imposed by the judge will lead W&LE to recognize the importance of this issue to our members, who now will be returning to work with the assurance that while the matter is under consideration by the court, no further provocative actions may be taken by the carrier," said BLET National President Dennis Pierce.

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