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Arbitrator considers split-vote options for board governing remote-control dispute

An arbitrator in St. Louis Aug. 14 listened to arguments from Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, United Transportation Union and several railroads on how a merits arbitration board should break any tie vote submitted by a four-member board governing the parties' remote-control dispute, according to a BLE-prepared statement.

The parties June 25 formally agreed to settle their dispute through a special board of adjustment comprising three partisan members and a neutral chairman. However, the unions and railroads couldn't agree on procedures governing a possible split vote, so they recently selected an arbitrator as a neutral party to resolve the issue.

The arbitrator is considering three proposals:

• BLE officials believe the neutral chairman's vote should break a deadlock;

• UTU officials believe no tie-breaking mechanism is needed and any decision should require a majority board vote; and

• railroad officials believe a second neutral party should be appointed to the board (to attend all hearings and consider written filings but not participate in executive sessions or deliberations) who would cast a sealed vote that would only be unsealed in the event of a split vote.

The arbitrator plans to select one of the three proposed options Aug. 16, BLE said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/15/2002