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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Most signalmen support a strike, BRS says


A vast majority of Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) members favor a strike because of long-stalled contract negotiations with National Carriers' Conference Committee (NCCC). Of two-thirds of eligible strike ballots, more than 95 percent support a strike.

During the past three-and-a-half years, BRS and NCCC officials have met 30 times, but failed to reach an agreement.

"The NCCC's refusal of BRS' latest offer, based on the recent pattern established by the Transportation Communications International Union's arbitrated agreement, only confirms that they are not interested in giving BRS members the most basic of agreements," said BRS officials in a prepared statement.

Since 2001, signalmen's workloads and responsibilities have increased as railroads reduced workforces, union officials said, adding that railroads would have to increase employment about 10 percent to return to 2001 workforce levels.

BRS currently is formulating strike plans, and expects to issue a strike authority against railroads unless the union and NCCC soon reach an agreement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/5/2003