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NMB dismisses UTU's single-craft-seeking application

National Mediation Board Aug. 14 dismissed United Transportation Union’s application to create a single craft of train and engine-service employees on Kansas City Southern.

The board determined that less than 4 percent of KCS' operating employees work in both train and engine service, and that KCS uses locomotive remote controls in only two of its 16 yards — "and even there it is not fully implemented," said NMB.

"Technology and/or other negotiated changes, such as work rules, could ultimately result in a combined craft or class of train and engine-service employees on KCS, however, the evidence at this point does not warrant such a finding," said NMB in its decision.

UTU in September 2001 filed the application to establish a new craft and request a representation election on KCS.

"This is another major victory — not only for the BLE — but for all labor in the battle to preserve historic operating craft lines," said Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers International President Don Hahs in a prepared statement.

However, NMB didn't preclude UTU from applying in the future for a combined craft or class of train and engine-service employees.

UTU officials believe the decision upholds its theory of a single craft or class of train and engine-service employees.

As for UTU's next move, International President Byron Boyd Jr. issued a two-word statement: "Stay tuned."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/15/2002