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Rail News: Labor

Rail unions reject carriers' payment advances, ask mediation board for arbitration


The National Carriers' Conference Committee (NCCC) yesterday announced that most rail labor organizations in national handling have declined the railroads’ proposal to provide advance payments of up to $600 per month to employees while negotiations for new national collective bargaining agreements continue.

The NCCC will hold open the proposal, NCCC officials said in a press release. The committee represents the nation’s freight-rail carriers in national collective bargaining.

The railroads want to reach new national agreements with the labor organizations that provide compensation increases, but the issues on the national bargaining table are complex, and more work is needed before complete agreements can be finalized, NCCC officials said.

The railroads believe that regardless of when tentative agreements are reached, the monthly advance payment proposal is the best way to put money in employees’ hands now, committee officials said.

Meanwhile, the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition (CBC) representing the unions has asked the National Mediation Board (NMB) that the contract negotiations move to the next steps of the Railway Labor Act process, which is for the NMB to proffer arbitration.

Should either party reject the proffer, a 30-day "cooling-off period" would occur.

The CBC described the carriers' advance payment proposal as "further evidence that the NCCC has no intentions of reaching a voluntary settlement" soon.

"You don’t offer temporary proposals if you plan to offer a complete contract settlement," the CBC stated in a press release. "In fact, the CEOs of [Union Pacific Railroad] and CSX both said in their earnings reports this past week that there would be no national contract settlement for months."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/26/2022