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10/9/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

TCU, NCCC accept binding arbitration to finalize carmen, clerks contract



On Oct. 2, Transportation Communications International Union (TCU) and National Carriers' Conference Committee (NCCC) agreed to settle their wage and health insurance dispute by submitting to binding arbitration under the auspices of National Mediation Board.


Arbitrator Robert Harris' final decision would become the labor contract for Brotherhood of Railway Carmen Division-represented railroad clerks and carmen, meaning an agreement would not be presented to union members for ratification.


TCU and NCCC, which represents 30 U.S. railroads including five Class Is, have been in contract mediation since October 2001, when a tentative agreement was rejected by NCCC. The parties have been negotiating a national contract since January 2000.


"It was highly unlikely that the Bush Administration would approve [a mediation] release given the current state of the economy and the possibility of war with Iraq," said TCU International President Robert Scardelletti in a prepared statement. "Arbitration was the only alternative to facing at least another six months, perhaps longer, of our members going without a contract. We're approaching our fourth year without a contract [and] our members haven't had a wage increase in three years."


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