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12/19/2001



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

UTU plans 'patient' Class I negotiations in 2002, says Boyd


Likening the patience required to negotiate a new contract with a Class I to that exhibited by successful major league baseball hitters, United Transportation Union International President Byron Boyd Dec. 18 cautioned members about the union's progress in securing wage, rules and benefits agreements with Class Is.
"The reality is we cannot always reach base safely [by] swinging at the first, second or third pitch," he said in a prepared statement. "We must also be careful not to overplay our hand."
Although UTU recently reached a tentative agreement with Canadian National Railway Co., the union doesn't plan to resume bargaining talks with the other Class Is until next month, at which time "the issue of remote controls also will be on the table," said Boyd, adding that negotiations can continue now that the proposed merger with Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers was voted down by BLE members.
"At the bargaining table, we can best make changes needed to protect our members and assure [they] share in increased productivity of new technology," he said. "Our ability to negotiate implementation of new technology together with a wage, rules and benefits package improves our leverage."


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