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TCU tells Amtrak to jump-start negotiations or brace for strike


The Transportation Communications Union (TCU) is proposing to launch a strike at Amtrak unless the parties accelerate negotiations and reach agreements soon.

TCU-represented clerks, on-board service workers and product line supervisors have been working without a contract for two-and-a-half years; carmen, and mechanical and maintenance-of-way supervisors haven’t had a contract for more than seven years.

In a June 7 letter to Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Alexander Kummant, TCU International President Robert Scardelletti said he is “outraged at Amtrak’s decision to increase many managers’ salaries by 13.1 percent this fiscal year.” He also said Amtrak “has not budged from its demand for radical work rule concessions” and that the union will not “voluntarily agree to a contract that does not fairly address retroactive pay.” Amtrak declined to comment on the letter.

The National Mediation Board (NMB) has refused to release TCU from mediation, so the union will launch a campaign to get released immediately, Scardelletti said in a statement posted on TCU’s Web site last week. Scardelletti, who will meet with the NMB chairman this week, said the union is asking Congress to formally request the board release the TCU from mediation. If the request is declined, the union plans to seek legislation to bypass the NMB.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/12/2007