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Rail News: Labor

Colorado short line reinstates workers, provides back pay after six-year legal battle, UTU says

Twenty-eight United Transportation Union-represented train and engine-service workers recently were reinstated by Colorado & Wyoming Railway Co. (C&W) and collected back pay.

In 1997, the workers were fired after refusing to cross a United Steelworkers of America picket line at a C&W-served Rocky Mountain Steel Mills plant in Pueblo, Colo., during a 13-week strike over working conditions.

UTU initially obtained a favorable arbitration award, but Oregon Steel Mills — which acquired the plant and 27-mile short line — continued to fight reinstatement, the union said in a prepared statement.

After a U.S. district court upheld UTU's arbitration award, Oregon Steel Mills appealed the decision. A U.S. appellate court later rejected C&W's request to review whether the railroad should have to provide back pay and the federal district court reinforced its earlier order.

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More News from 8/13/2003