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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Carriers' conference, unions continue to negotiate national contracts


The United Transportation Union (UTU) continues to post progress in negotiating a voluntary agreement with the National Carriers' Conference Committee (NCCC), which represents more than 30 U.S. railroads, including the Class Is.

A national agreement — which covers about 40,000 UTU members employed by NCCC-member railroads — became open for amendment on Jan. 1, 2010, and the parties have been negotiating contract changes since. Interest-based bargaining, a joint problem-solving process, is helping the parties work toward “developing a common framework recognizing the needs of both sides,” said UTU International President Mike Futhey in a bargaining update posted on the union’s website.

The UTU and NCCC recently conducted an eighth negotiating session and three additional sessions have been scheduled in February, March and April.

Meanwhile, the NCCC continues to negotiate contracts with two rail-labor coalitions through national mediation. One coalition includes the Transportation Communications Union, American Train Dispatchers Association, International Association of Machinists, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Transport Workers Union; the other includes the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division, Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, Brotherhood of Boilermakers and Blacksmiths, National Conference of Firemen and Oilers, and Sheet Metal Workers International Association.