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Rail News: Labor

Federal court to consider UTU's lawsuit against carriers' committee


On Aug. 29, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois will conduct a hearing to consider a lawsuit filed by the United Transportation Union (UTU). The union seeks to prohibit the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC) from bargaining over crew consist agreements and the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) during contract negotiations.

UTU officials claim the NCCC has proposed contract language that eliminates FELA and allows railroads to operate one-man crews. Local crew consist agreements require railroads to assign at least one conductor or brakeman to every crew and stipulate no UTU member assigned to train service can involuntarily lose their job, union officials said in a prepared statement.

“Crew consist agreements are a local issue, and, when barred by moratorium, changes to crew size must be negotiated with the UTU general committees of adjustment on the appropriate railroad property and not nationally,” said UTU International President Paul Thompson in a prepared statement.

Officials from the UTU and NCCC — which bargains for more than 30 U.S. railroads, including the Class Is — recently agreed to continue discussing contract issues other than the crew agreements and FELA. The next bargaining session will be held next month.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/8/2005