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BLET members authorize NJ Transit strike

Members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) working for New Jersey Transit unanimously voted to strike if a contract dispute with the transit agency is not settled.

Unless President Barack Obama honors BLET's request to create a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) to resolve the issue, NJ Transit locomotive engineers could walk off the job, or be locked out by the agency, on July 16, according to a BLET press release.

The requested PEB would delay a strike or lockout, and would investigate and issue a report with recommendations regarding the dispute, BLET officials said.

"The 100 percent majority voting in favor of a strike sends a strong, unified message to New Jersey Transit that over four years without a contract is not acceptable to our membership,” said BLET National President Dennis Pierce.

BLET has been working to broker a new contract for NJ Transit's locomotive engineers since 2011, and the National Mediation Board (NMB) had been trying to resolve the issue since June 2014.

The NMB released the union from mediation June 12, when BLET formally declined the board's proffer of arbitration.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/9/2015