2 Unions Agree to Arbitration to Settle Contracts

Two railroad unions have agreed to seek binding arbitration in an effort to seek a new contract with the National Carriers’ Conference, which represents the nation’s major freight railroad.

The unions involved are the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division-IBT  and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers.

The unions and Carriers’ Conference have agreed to use arbitration to decide the health insurance benefits for the union workers.

“These agreements reflect our shared commitment to finding the best method to bring our bargaining to a conclusion,” said NCCC Chairman A. Kenneth Gradia in a statement. “We are now much closer to a final resolution with all the rail unions.”

BMWE and SMART-Mechanical Division represent 29,000 employees.

Seven other unions representing 102,000 employees have ratified new contracts with the railroads that include wage increases and retroactive pay.

Those unions are the American Train Dispatchers Association; Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen; Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen; Brotherhood Railway Carmen; International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers-Transportation Division including Yardmasters; National Conference of Firemen and Oilers; and Transportation Communications International Union.

Three unions remain in mediation. They are the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; and International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Blacksmiths, Iron Ship Builders, Forgers and Helpers.

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