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Rail News: Labor

NMB orders carriers' committee back to the bargaining table, BLET says


The National Mediation Board (NMB) has rejected the National Carriers’ Conference Committee’s (NCCC) request to be released from mediation and ordered the committee to resume bargaining with the Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition (RLBC), according to coalition member the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen division of the Teamsters Rail Conference.

Last month, the NCCC — which bargains for 32 U.S. railroads, including all the Class Is — sought to be released from mediation because committee officials believed the parties weren’t making any progress toward a national agreement.

The NMB ordered the parties to meet with a federal mediator on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 in Washington, D.C. Other mediation sessions will be held Feb. 7-10 and Feb. 16-17 at a yet-to-be-determined Florida location.

“We hope that these additional sessions and our pending request for release will motivate the unions to take a more serious look at these important issues,” said NCCC Chairman Robert Allen in a prepared statement.

RLBC’s seven members represent more than 85,000 rail workers.

“We’ve been … meeting with the carriers since January 2005 — we’ve made some progress and we intend to keep at it until we reach an agreement on a national contract,” said George Francisco, RLBC coordinator and president of coalition member the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers, in a prepared statement.

RLBC members also include the Teamsters conference’s Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division, as well as the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, Sheet Metal Workers International Association, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers and American Train Dispatchers of America.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/6/2006